Delivery delays plaguing
, with the stock falling 5.7% Wednesday after
U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray
lowered its estimates.
Anthony Gikas, a Piper analyst, reduced his revenue estimate for the third quarter ending Dec. 31 to $707 million from $732 million, though he maintained his earnings estimate of 73 cents a share.
For the fourth quarter ending March 31, he cut his revenue estimate to $343 million from $368 million, and reduced his earnings per share estimate a nickel to 3 cents. For the year ending in March 2002, Gikas lowered his revenue estimate to $1.7 billion from $1.8 billion and his earnings estimate to 75 cents from 96 cents. (Gikas rates the stock a buy, and his firm has done no underwriting for the company.)
Simply put, Electronic Arts can't sell as many video games as expected if consumers can't buy as many PlayStation machines as analysts believed they would.
Electronic Arts declined to comment.
"Sony may be falling short of its projected unit shipments for the PlayStation 2 hardware system in North America (and likely Europe)," Gikas wrote in a report Wednesday.
Sony's latest hold-ups come after well-publicized delays earlier this fall. In September, the company halved its promised shipment of 1 million consoles due to component shortages and logistical problems. Sony pledged to ship 100,000 a week until Dec. 31. Now that, too, looks like wishful thinking.
PlayStation 2 and its Electronics Arts games such as
still promise to be big sellers this holiday season, but they could have been even bigger. "Sony could have sold two to three times as many units if they were shipping on time," Gikas said.
Retailers are getting only a handful of PlayStation 2 consoles at a time, and deliveries are unpredictable. "Retailers may get a shipment once in two weeks and then two days in a row," he said.
"There are no blockbuster toys this year, like last year's
, which is helping the video game sector," he added. "Mom and Dad have to put something under the tree."