Shares rose in the year's final weeks, but that minor rebound wasn't enough to erase significant losses through most of 2019.
GameStop's 2019 went from bad to worse. First, shareholders witnessed uncertainty around its rebound plan as the video game retailer operated under temporary management while trying to sell the business. The company went on to slash its generous dividend after that go-private attempt failed.
Meanwhile, news continued to get worse on the operating front as video game software and hardware sales collapsed under the weight of a console transition and the continued move toward digital purchasing. Comparable-store sales plunged 23% in the most recent quarter to mark a worsening compared with the prior quarter's 12% decline.
The slumping share price and rock-bottom investor attitudes toward GameStop might qualify it as a value stock primed for a rebound rally. But it's hard to see how the chain can return to growth following a failed push into consumer tech. Instead, for at least the next year, the business is likely to shrink as gamers hold back spending in anticipation of next-generation console releases in mid to late 2020.