GameStop reports record sales

Acquisition of Electronics Boutique leads game retailer to break $3 billion mark in sales for FY2005.

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Specialty retailer GameStop issued its year-end results for fiscal year 2005 today, and the numbers were far and away the highest they've ever been for the chain, primarily due to its acquisition of chief rival Electronics Boutique last year.

The company beat its earnings expectations, netting more than $100 million in profit off just over $3 billion in sales for the year ended January 28, 2006. For the year before the EB merger, the company made almost $61 million off $1.8 billion in sales.

For the holiday quarter alone, GameStop raked in nearly $1.7 billion, considerably more than twice the $708 million it took in for the holiday season from November 2004 to January 2005. That quarter saw the release of Halo 2, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and Metal Gear Solid 3, as well as the launch of the Nintendo DS.

The company's results beat out its own expectations as well as those of analysts and had a clear impact on GameStop's stock price. Its shares traded hands at almost four times the daily average today, driving the price up $3.60 (almost 8 percent) to $45.

Having weathered a 2005 that was difficult for the industry as a whole and emerged above expectations, GameStop is setting its goals for 2006 even higher. While most analysts are predicting a decline in game sales for 2006, the retailer projects a boost in sales of 14 percent to 17 percent for the year, highlighted by the releases of the Revolution and the PlayStation 3.

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