GameStop

(GME) - Get Report

reported a 29% jump in third-quarter profit and offered bullish guidance ahead of the holiday shopping season.

The Texas-based specialty retailer had net income of $13.8 million, or 24 cents a share, vs. $10.7 million, or 18 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts expected 24 cents a share, based on a survey by Thomson First Call.

Overall sales increased 28% to $416.7 million. Same-store sales increased 11.8% during the quarter.

The company said video-game software sales were exceptionally strong, up 36%, with leading titles such as

Madden NFL 2005

from

Electronic Arts

(ERTS)

,

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

from

Take-Two Interactive

(TTWO) - Get Report

and

Fable

from

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

.

"Nearly every new game released during the quarter exceeded our expectations, showing the overwhelming demand for video-game products and how our new and used model helps us to grow market share and customer demand," GameStop said. "Our initial projections for a strong holiday season seem to be justified by the exceptional acceptance of the video games released thus far in the season, and we are looking forward to an exciting few months and beyond."

The company raised guidance for the fourth quarter, saying it expected EPS of 81 cents to 84 cents in the fourth quarter and $1.28 to $1.31 for the full year, before one-time charges. The consensus forecasts are for 83 cents a share and $1.28 a share, respectively.

Shares ended at $23.50 Friday.