Electronics Boutique Sags

Merger-related costs take their toll.
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Earnings slumped at

Electronics Boutique

(ELBO)

despite rising sales in the second quarter, thanks to merger-related costs.

Excluding those expenses, the company's earnings would have declined from last year and still missed Wall Street's estimates.

In the quarter ended July 30, the video-game retailer reported Monday that it earned $1.6 million, or 6 cents a share, which was down from $3.9 million, or 16 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Total revenue grew 24% to $448.3 million.

Leaving out a loss of $1 million incurred by

Jump Ordenadores

, a Spain-based chain that Electronics Boutique acquired in the quarter, and costs connected to its impending merger with

GameStop

(GME) - Get Report

, the company would have earned $3.5 million, or 14 cents a share.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting Electronics Boutique to earn 14 cents a share on $441.4 million in revenue on a pro forma basis.

The company reiterated its bottom-line guidance for its full 2006 fiscal year.

Excluding costs related to the Jump and GameStop mergers, the company expects to earn $2.34 to $2.44 a share. Electronics Boutique did not immediately update its full-year revenue forecast. Previously, it predicted that sales would grow 15% to 20% this year.

Wall Street has forecast that Electronics Boutique will earn $2.38 a share on $2.39 billion in sales this year.

The company's shares fell 50 cents, or about 0.8%, in after-hours trading, to $63.50. Shares closed regular trading off 38 cents, or about 0.6%, to $64.