The industry-tracking NPD Group yesterday released its US retail sales figures for September, and the numbers--while positive for the first time in six months--didn't live up to expectations. Today, Wedbush Morgan Securities' Michael Pachter released a note to investors, echoing a fellow analyst's warning about the current month's sales while painting a rosier longer-term picture of the industry.
"We think that very solid hardware sales will continue in October, but expect the month to show a slight year-over-year decline, meaning that investors will likely have to be patient until the November sales data is released to see a substantial rebound in growth," Pachter said. "From November forward, we think that double-digit gains will be the norm, at least through August 2010."
In assessing what went wrong with his estimates for the September sales--which were up 5 percent when Pachter had predicted 21 percent--the analyst pointed to the music genre specifically. He had predicted the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises to bring in $220 million for the month with new releases like The Beatles: Rock Band and Guitar Hero 5. However, Pachter said the NPD Group's figures showed the brands generating just $115 million combined.
"What's striking is the low overall dollar figure for the two games, which were out for almost the entire month," he told GameSpot. "[The Beatles: Rock Band and Guitar Hero 5] combined fell short of $100 million, and I had forecast $210 million."