Gamestop (GME): A Risky Stock that Just Might be the Cheapest Billion Dollar Stock in Today’s Market
Member write-up by Vetle Forsland
GameStop is the number one video game retailer in the world, the largest AT&T retailer, the largest Apple products reseller and one of the world’s largest sellers of collectibles. The company had 7,276 stores as of February 3, 2018 all over the world, with over 5,200 of them in the US. They are also one of the world’s biggest buyers and sellers of used games. That means that people buy physical video games from a shop like GameStop, and when they are tired of playing the game, they can sell the game to GameStop at a discounted price. GameStop sells these games at a higher price, which allows gamers to buy used physical games at a big discount to new games. This segment makes up the largest proportion of GameStop’s gross profit, with 32% of all gross profits, but only 23% of sales, as a result of their terrific margins.
The video game segment of the brand had about 5,900 stores as of February this year, whereas 70% of these stores were located in the US. Most of these stores are GameStop-branded, but they also own store brands like EB Games, Micromania, ThinkGeek and Zing Pop Culture. Furthermore, they own Game Informer, which is the leading video game magazine in the world, and is actually the fourth most popular magazine in the world, with over 7 million monthly paid subscribers per month. It’s also the largest digital publication in the world.
GameStop’s “Technology Brands” contains 1,329 AT&T branded retail stores, where they sell AT&T services, DIRECTV service and electronic products. This segment also consists of 48 Simply Mac branded stores which sell and repair Apple products. Their technology brands make up 8.7% of sales and 19.5% of gross profits. It was a part of their attempt a couple of years ago to diversify away from the video game industry, and it has since been deemed unsuccessful as they recently wrote off about $360 million from the technology brands business. GameStop was pressed to decrease the equity value of the investment as they realized phone owners won’t switch models as frequently as in the past, which makes sense; newer phones aren’t evolving as drastically in quality as they used to.
The consensus today is that GameStop’s business – a video game retailer – is redundant in an age of online shopping. GameStop’s flagship “products” have always been hardware like the newest consoles and physical video games. However, PC Gamers have almost exclusively stopped buying physical video games, as only 20% of all PC games were sold in physical form last year. GameStop shareholders fear that the same will happen to console games and consoles. These two segments, if we include their used games segment, made up 57% of gross profit in 2017. So, I guess in an absolute worst case scenario, where all console gamers switch to digital, GameStop will lose around 60% of their value. The stock has fallen 80% …Read more