Analyst predicting sluggish holidays

New FBR Research report expects weaker sell-through numbers than last year for rest of the year; last year's crop of megahits to blame.

While the gaming industry isn't quite getting a lump of coal in its stocking this holiday season, it can't expect to take in quite the haul it did a year ago. FBR research analyst Shawn Milne today released his industry update, and it generally falls in line with the mildly negative expectations of other analysts recently.

Milne says that retailers are getting some preholiday jitters that are keeping them from placing big orders for fear of being stuck with excess inventory. That's not helping expectations of slow September sales figures (which have yet to be released) and worse fourth quarter numbers than last year. Without Halo 2, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, or ESPN NFL 2K5 to spur sales like they did last year, Milne expects sell-through to be down 10-15 percent for September and down 5 percent in the fourth quarter.

However, not everyone is poised to lose out. Milne expects Activision and Electronic Arts to close out the year strongly thanks to stacked holiday lineups. Likewise, THQ is expected to stay the course by meeting its guidance figures for the year.

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