GameStop Advances After Profits Beat Expectations

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of multichannel video game retailer GameStop ( GME) are rising this morning after the company reported better than expected first quarter profits and backed its fiscal 2014 guidance.

WHAT'S NEW: GameStop reported Q1 earnings per share of 59c, which beat analysts' consensus estimate of 57c, and revenue of $2B, which was relatively in-line with an estimate of $2.03B. Consolidated comparable sales for the quarter increased 5.8%. For the quarter, the new hardware category grew 81.1% from the year-ago period, driven by strong worldwide consumer demand for Sony's ( SNE) PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's ( MSFT) Xbox One. The company said total market sales in the U.S. from launch through April of XBox One and PS4 hardware more than doubled the combined sales of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 hardware through their first six months of sales. Looking ahead, the company backed its fiscal year 2014 EPS view of $3.40-$3.70. The consensus forecast of analysts for FY14 EPS prior to the report was $3.68. Full year SSS are expected to be up 6%-12%. The company also forecast second quarter EPS of 12c-20c with SSS up 12%-19%. The consensus forecast for Q2 EPS prior to the report was 17c.

WHAT'S NOTABLE: On its earnings conference call, GameStop CEO Paul Raines said the company is seeing "stronger" demand for the Xbox One as a result of the console's recent price drop last week, adding that the good news for the company is "we'll sell a lot more units." Also during the call, an analyst asked if GameStop's business has been impacted from Wal-Mart (WMT) recently entering the used game space. Raines said the company has not seen any impact from competitors entering the used game space and commented that "I would encourage you to go do some trades at all of our competitors, because I think all of them are in the trade business. We have a deep knowledge of how execution looks at all of those competitors and we do not have any impact from them."

PRICE ACTION: GameStop is trading up $1.85, or about 5%, to $38.74 in mid-morning trading.

Reporting by Laurie Pasternack Chan.

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