An NPD Group report on the sales of physical goods in the video game industry sent gaming stocks into negative territory early in the day. However, major retailers and producers recovered by the afternoon, likely because investors felt the negative news from the report was already priced in. NPD reports that year-over-year hardware sales fell 27 percent in 2012 to a total of $4.04 billion.
NPD Group doesn’t track digital sales, meaning that the losses indicated by the report fall squarely on largely brick-and-mortar game retailers like GameStop (NYSE:GME). The report catalyzed some steep selling pressure early in the morning before investors seemed to decide that all the bad news was priced in earlier in the week.
Shares of GameStop fell victim to the Grinch when it reported a 4.6 percent drop in total sales for the nine-week period ended December 29, and a 4.4 percent drop in total comparable store sales for the same period.