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GameStop: Holiday Results Flat, Lowering Guidance

Grapevine, Texas-based video game and entertainment software retailer GameStop reported its sales results for the holiday period today, saying that--despite high hopes for new game launches, it results were flat from prior years sales. The firm said total sales for the nine week holiday period, ending January 2, were $2.86 billion, and that it will be lowering its fourth quarter guidance. The firm said the results were impacted by economic weakness in December "in all global operating segments," as well as by winter storms in December, plus "unexpected shortages" of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Nintendo Wii and Sony's PlayStation 3 consoles. The firm also said it had a decline of 8% in hardware sales, due to console price cuts and les unit sales than last year. The muted results came despite the launch of several major titles at the beginning of the holiday season. The firm said it now expects diluted earnings per share to range from $1.25 to $1.29, and comparable store sales to range from -8.5% to -9.5%. The firm had earlier forecast earnings per share between $1.47 and $1.65, and comparable store sales from -7.0% to -1.0% in November.