GameStop this week reported sales and earnings for the second quarter ended July 30, 2011. While store sales of traditional boxed software and hardware declined, the company found a silver lining with better-than-expected digital sales and pre-owned sales. Total sales for the second quarter of 2011 were $1.74 billion, a decrease of 3.1 percent compared to $1.80 billion in the prior year quarter. Total company comparable store sales were -9.1 percent, impacted by lower hardware sales and a lighter software title releases than the prior year quarter. While new hardware and software underperformed, pre-owned sales increased 12 percent and digital sales increased 69 percent, exceeding quarterly expectations.
The top five selling games during the quarter were L.A. Noire by Rockstar Games, NCAA Football 12 by Electronic Arts, inFAMOUS 2 by Sony, Brink by Bethesda Softworks, and Mortal Kombat by Warner Home Video Games.
Net earnings were $30.9 million compared to $40.3 million in the prior year quarter. GameStop continued spending on its strategic initiatives during the quarter. Diluted earnings per share were in-line with guidance at $0.22 compared to $0.26 in the prior year quarter. The strength of the pre-owned business and growth in digital channels led to gross margins of 31.2 percent, an increase of 250 basis points and the company’s highest margin rate in five years.