GameStop set to report earnings for the first time since its stock exploded

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After its stock went on a rocket-fueled ride to the stratosphere, GameStop will pull the curtain back on its financials on Tuesday afternoon.

The video game retailer is scheduled to report its first quarterly earnings since Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets community sent the stock soaring as much as 2,700% earlier this year. And they’re anticipated to be especially strong.

Analysts expect the company to post its strongest quarterly revenue and profit in two years. That’s less because of a change in the business environment, though, and more due to the seasonal bump that comes with holiday sales and the launch of new game systems from Sony and Microsoft.

GameStop management hasn’t addressed the stock’s ascent since it began, nor has it spoken publicly about the attention it has received from regulators. The company is unlikely to be able to avoid the topic on the earnings call, though.

The big question is, How will investors react? Short-sellers have stuck with the company, but institutional investors are certainly uncomfortable with the current price point.

Analysts expect GameStop will post net sales of $2.29 billion and an adjusted earnings per share of $1.35. Same-store sales (comps) are expected to be up 8%.

Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities, though, is skeptical of that comps number.

“Although Q4:20 featured several high-profile and incremental releases, the pace of digital mix shift and the popularity of Microsoft’s Game Pass subscription likely absorbed much of the sales increase,” he said in a note to investors. “New consoles remain supply-constrained, and these factors drove a comps decline from up 16.5% in November to up 4.8% for the holidays, well below the NPD levels and implying negative comps for December.”

The stock price isn’t the only volatility GameStop has undergone in recent times. The company has had five CEOs since 2017 and has scrapped plans to sell itself. More recently, Chewy founder Ryan Cohen acquired a sizable holding in the company, investing $76 million when shares were trading at an average of just $8.43. He recently was put in charge of a committee that said it will seek out initiatives that can help GameStop continue its transition beyond its brick-and-mortar origins.

GameStop CEO George Sherman was not mentioned in the announcement of that committee.

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