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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: GameStop, Best Buy, Microsoft and Sony

CHICAGO, Aug. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the GameStop Corporation (NYSE:GME-Free Report), Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY-Free Report), Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq:MSFT-Free Report) and Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE-Free Report).

Zacks Investment Research, Inc., www.zacks.com

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Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

GameStop Branches Out to Tap Growing Markets

GameStop Corporation (NYSE:GME-Free Report) is well poised to take advantage of the growing market for video game products and PC entertainment software. The company's strategy is to grow through store expansion in favorable localities, by providing the largest title collection of video games and leveraging its first-to-market distribution network to offer the latest hardware and software releases. The company provides a greater selection of used video game products for both current and previous generation platforms.

The company continues to branch out and has evolved as a mixed retailer of physical and digital gaming as well as electronics products. The company's venture in digital, iDevice and gaming tablet businesses would be accretive to its results. The company's buy-sell-trade model of selling new games and buying back used games and PowerUp Rewards program make it a popular shopping destination.

These have helped GameStop, which competes with Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY-Free Report) to report a better-than-expected bottom line for the second consecutive quarter. After a positive earnings surprise of 3.5% in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, the company again beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 15.8%. The company posted earnings of 22 cents a share that came ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 19 cents and rose substantially from 9 cents delivered in the year-ago quarter. The outperformance came on the back of new game releases and robust hardware sales.

Total net sales increased 25.1% year over year to $1,731.4 million, and handily surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,656 million. Comparable-store sales grew 21.9% year over year. Sturdy demand for Microsoft Corporation's (Nasdaq:MSFT-Free Report) Xbox One and Sony Corporation's (NYSE:SNE-Free Report) PlayStation 4 aided the year-over-year increase in net sales and comparable-store sales. Moreover, strength witnessed across the mobile & consumer electronics category also supported top-line growth.

Despite an impressive performance in the last concluded quarter, management reiterated its fiscal year guidance as it braces for tough year-over-year comparison in the third quarter from the video game Grand Theft Auto V, released last year. We also remained concerned about increasing online gaming activities as well as shifting preferences toward tablets and mobile phones from traditional game consoles.

The pros and cons embedded in the stock are well reflected in its Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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