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Lease accounting decreases Electronics Boutique earnings
03/14/05 2:00pm

Electronics Boutique Holdings Corp. said Monday that changes in its real estate lease accounting meant a drop in fourth-quarter profit. Net income was $38.1 million, or $1.53 a share, down from $39.4 million, or $1.57, a year earlier.

Recent results include a one-time charge of $2.7 million, or 11 cents, to adjust for lease accounting. Electronics Boutique is one of many major retailers adjusting to new guidelines issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Electronics Boutique said sales for the quarter ended Jan. 29 totaled $809 million, up from $671.5 million a year earlier. On a comparable basis, sales rose by 3 percent.

Higher sales were driven by software sales and the launch of the Nintendo DS, an advanced video-game player. Software counts for 60 percent of the company's total sales.

For the fiscal year, Electronics Boutique had net earnings of $52.3 million, or $2.13 a share, up from $45.7 million, or $1.80, a year earlier.

Revenue for the year was $1.99 billion, up from $1.6 billion a year earlier.

For the current first quarter, Electronics Boutique said it expects earnings of 12 to 14 cents a share, based on a 9 percent to 13 percent gain in same-store sales.

Focus in the gaming world is shifting toward more value-conscious buyers. To respond, the retailer is targeting strip-shopping centers for new stores and offering more used video games.

Electronics Boutique, which is based in West Chester, Pa., owns 2,000 stores in the United States, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Puerto Rico and Sweden. Stores trade under the EB Games and Electronics Boutique names.

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