GameStop (NYSE: GME ) , the largest video game retailer, charged up investors recently by announcing its second $300 million share buyback this year. In addition, the company plans to repurchase $200 million worth of debt due to mature in October 2012.
This good news comes on the heels of an announcement from Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) that its new game, Halo Reach, netted over $200 million in sales on its first day. Take-Two Interactive (Nasdaq: TTWO ) also dazzled us with a large earnings beat earlier this month. This is important because GameStop relies heavily on new video game sales to drive traffic to its stores.
Despite these gaming successes, domestic growth has been hard to come by and will not be handed out on a silver platter. GameStop faces some tough competition from the likes of Best Buy (NYSE: BBY ) and Target (NYSE: TGT ) , who both have the ability to undercut GameStop on price.
Best Buy announced in July that it plans to court customers into its stores by exchanging old video games for Best Buy gift cards. The second-hand game market has long been GameStop's bread and butter, providing the meatiest gross profits at 46%.
What does this all mean for GameStop going forward?
So far we've seen them be very complacent retiring shares through buybacks. Doing this leaves fewer shares outstanding making year-over-year earnings growth easier to attain. But it fails to address their most pressing need, which is growing revenues in the face of a hiccupping gaming sector.
In order to counter this and stay ahead of Best Buy, GameStop is going to need to step up to the plate and make some sizable acquisitions beyond its recent purchase of Kongregate. The digital delivery gaming market is rapidly growing and GameStop needs to get its foot in the door, otherwise gamers may bypass the brick-and-mortar retailer for point-and-click gaming convenience.
More importantly, GameStop needs to continue to grow its international market share in order to meet its own long-term growth targets.
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