Analysts expect May sales rebound

Pacific Crest's Evan Wilson and Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter tell investors to expect double-digit software sales growth after a bumpy April.

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Last month, the industry-tracking NPD Group's figures showed that US software sales dipped 1 percent in April, breaking a growth streak dating back to last year. The firm is expected to release its figures for May later this week, and two industry analysts are telling investors to expect better results this time around.

Pacific Crest Securities' Evan Wilson sent a note to investors today saying he expects NPD's game sales figures for May to total $320 million, up 12 percent from the year before. Wilson said the bump would be driven by new releases Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars, Forza Motorsport 2, and Mario Party 8. Of the slightly older games, Wilson expects sales to be driven by Super Paper Mario, Wii Play, Spider-Man 3, Guitar Hero II, and Pokemon Diamond and Pearl.

Wedbush Morgan Securities' Michael Pachter, who recently made headlines by speculating that Grand Theft Auto IV might be delayed--which is not the case--was a little more bullish. He projected software growth of 16 percent up to $333 million in his own note to investors. Pachter didn't single out Command & Conquer 3 as a leading sales driver, but he did include the adaptations of Shrek the Third, which he believes sold more than a quarter of a million copies over the month. Pachter also offered hardware projections, estimating 400,000 Wii systems sold for the month, followed by 225,000 Xbox 360s and 100,000 PlayStation 3s.

The NPD Group is expected to release its actual May sales figures later this week.

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