, citing a slowdown of video rentals around Thanksgiving, lowered fourth-quarter same-store sales and earnings guidance Wednesday.
The company expects to earn 15 cents to 22 cents a share in the fourth quarter on a high-single-digit percentage gain in same-store sales. Analysts were predicting the company would earn 43 cents a share in the quarter. The company had previously predicted same-store sales would climb in the low to midteens.
After a strong fall, the company said video rentals fell off the table around Thanksgiving. "We believe this is largely due to a number of factors unique to this holiday season, including the unprecedented number of movie titles available for sale at deeply discounted prices, this year's DVD gift-giving phenomenon and a compressed holiday season which has limited consumers' leisure time," Blockbuster said.
Blockbuster's majority owner,
, said the profit warning wouldn't result in changes to its own guidance.