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Piper More Positive Post-NPD November Data

One of the select out performers today was video game retailer GameStop (GME), rising 51 cents, or 2%, to close $24.71 as analysts mulled some surprisingly strong November video game sales, driven by a slew of hit titles.

The final November tally for video game software sales in the U.S. (excluding sales of digitally downloaded games) was a rise of 15%, to $1.67 billion, handily beating estimates I’d seen that had ranged from 7% to 13%, as I noted last week, according to data released on Friday by research firm NPD.

In fact, it was the best November for physical sales of game content in the U.S. ever, beating November, 2008's record.

Content sales were led by Activision-Blizzard’s (ATVI) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, whose first month of sales beat the year-earlier sales of Black Ops by about 7%, according to NPD.

Reflecting on the data, Piper Jaffray’s Mike Olson, who has a Neutral rating GameStop shares, remarked that he is “incrementally more confident in shares of GME over the near-term.”

“We expect the company to publish a holiday same-store sales update in early January (as the company has done in recent years), which we expect to act as a positive stock catalyst.”
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