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GameStop’s 4Q earnings, sales fall short of Street’s views

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A hefty tax benefit helped drive GameStop’s fiscal fourth-quarter profit sharply higher, but the video-game retailer’s sales declined despite a surge in its online business. The company’s latest results fell short of Wall Street’s expectations.

The company, whose stock price soared in January after a social media-fueled frenzy, said Tuesday that its would suspend providing earnings guidance as it focuses on an effort to transform into a more online-focused retailer.

The Grapevine, Texas, company reported net income of $80.5 million, or $1.19 per share, for the three months ended January 30. That compares with net income of $21 million, or 32 cents per share, a year earlier.

The latest results include a nearly $70 million tax benefit. Adjusted for that and other one-time items, the company’s earnings amounted to $1.34 per share, versus $1.27 a year earlier.

Revenue fell to $2.12 billion, from $2.19 billion. Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings of $1.35 per share on $2.21 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

The company said global e-commerce sales made up 34% of net sales in the fourth quarter compared with 12% in the year-ago quarter. As GameStop attempts to transition more of its business online, the company recently named board member Ryan Cohen to spearhead that transition.

GameStop shares were little changed in after-hours trading. They fell 6.6% to $181.75 in the regular trading session.

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