Earnings

GameStop stock soars after retailer posts first quarterly profit in two years

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GameStop on Tuesday posted a quarterly profit for the first time in two years, finishing out its fiscal year on a high note in the holiday quarter after grappling with sales declines, inventory woes and cash flow pressure.

Shares of the company soared more than 45% during after-hours trading.

For the quarter ended Jan. 28, net sales dropped slightly to $2.23 billion from $2.25 billion in last year’s fourth quarter. The video game retailer also posted a profit of $48.2 million, or 16 cents a share, compared to a loss of $147.5 million, or 49 cents, a year ago.

GameStop did not provide financial guidance and has not done so since the early days of the pandemic. Its results can’t be compared with Wall Street estimates because too few analysts cover the company.

The retailer had been working to steer itself back to profitability, and got there in part by cutting costs. Selling, general and administrative expenses came in at $453.4 million for the quarter, or 20.4% of sales, compared to $538.9 million, or 23.9% of sales, in the year-earlier period.

A GameStop store operates in a strip mall on March 16, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois.
Scott Olson | Getty Images

CEO Matt Furlong said on an investor call the company is going into 2023 with further plans to cut excess costs including in European markets, where it has already exited and begun to pull out of some countries. He said that GameStop is also considering bolstering its business with higher margin categories such as toys.

GameStop had previously been riding some short-term, meme-stock momentum, but that has since leveled out and the company has made progress in right-sizing its business by cleaning up its inventory levels and reworking its cost structure.

The stock closed trading on Tuesday at around $18 per share, down dramatically from its 52-week high of nearly $50 about a year ago.

GameStop’s turnaround plan was reinvigorated by a leadership shake-up in 2021 that put Furlong, an Amazon veteran, at the helm and added Ryan Cohen, Chewy founder and former Bed Bath & Beyond activist investor, as board chair. The company also laid off staff and replaced its chief financial officer.

The retailer has been working to revamp its real estate portfolio and increase its online business as the video game industry heads in that direction.

For the full fiscal year, GameStop saw $5.93 billion in sales, down slightly from $6.01 billion in fiscal 2021, and saw increased revenues from its collectibles category, which the retailer is banking will promote long-term growth.

Like many retailers, GameStop experienced supply chain delays that left it with a backlog of inventory after it previously tried to meet high demand. The company is still hanging on to $682.9 million in inventory, which is down from $915 million a year ago, according to its fourth-quarter balance sheet.

As part of its revival strategy, GameStop also has been trying to improve its cash balance. This quarter, its cash and cash equivalents were $1.39 billion.

While managing the burdens of its brick-and-mortar presence, the company has also been working to find its digital identity. So far, those experiments have come with a few missteps.

In September, it launched an ill-fated partnership with the now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX. The companies had planned to collaborate on e-commerce marketing and GameStop was going to sell FTX gift cards in its stores. Two months later, GameStop tweeted that it would be “winding down” the partnership and refunding anyone who had purchased an FTX gift card in its stores.

In addition, the company has been experimenting with an NFT marketplace since July. That launch came amid chatter of a “crypto winter” as cryptocurrencies experienced a widespread cooldown from their 2021 rallies. The marketplace saw an initial volume surge but has since leveled off and may not be the ticket to a stable digital presence the company had hoped it would be.

Still, Furlong said on a call with investors that compared to 2021, when many “predicted we were heading for bankruptcy,” the company is better positioned.

“GameStop is a much healthier business today than it was at the start of 2021,” he said.

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