(Bloomberg)—GameStop Corp. fell to its lowest level since 2004 after predicting sales would tumble this year, providing more evidence that it’s struggling to adapt to changes in the video game industry.
The retail chain projected after U.S. markets closed Tuesday that sales will drop 5% to 10% this year. Though GameStop is embarking on a cost-cutting drive as part of a turnaround plan, investors’ confidence is shaken.
GameStop, the largest independent retailer of video games and No. 40 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 1000, hasn’t kept up with the fast-changing industry. While gamers once relied on bricks-and-mortar stores to buy discs and consoles, they’re increasingly making purchases online.
Last month, Apple Inc. (No. 2) and Google both announced they were launching online services for games. On Tuesday, Activision Blizzard Inc. said it would offer a battle royale version of its popular Call of Duty game free online during the month of April.
The Grapevine, Texas-based company is trying to establish a presence in the growing world of esports, which features organized teams playing each other in leagues built around games like Overwatch. Last month, the company acquired naming rights to a new esports training facility being built on the grounds of the Dallas Cowboys headquarters.
Pressure from investors
Management also faces pressure from investors. The company reached an agreement this week with two activist firms that were seeking a revamp of the retailer’s board. GameStop will add two board members in collaboration with Hestia Capital Partners and Permit Capital Enterprise Fund.
Cost cutting is key to GameStop’s comeback plan. The company aims to achieve a $100 million improvement in operating profit this year. But for the first quarter, it expects to break even at best and could lose 5 cents a share.
Profit last quarter totaled $1.45 a share, short of the $1.58 average of analysts’ estimates. At $3.1 billion, sales also failed to meet analysts’ projections.Favorite