UPDATE 1-GameStop raises forecast ahead of release of new game consoles
* Raises full-year earnings forecast
* Cuts lower end of full-year same-store sales growth forecast
* Shares up about 14 pct
Aug 22 (Reuters) - GameStop Corp, the world's largest retailer of video game products, raised its full-year earnings forecast, citing strong pre-orders for the upcoming game consoles from Microsoft and Sony.
GameStop's shares were up about 14 percent in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
The company is also readying for the launch of long-awaited titles such as Take Two Interactive Software Inc's Grand Theft Auto V and Electronic Arts' Battlefield 4.
Take Two's stock rose 3.5 percent after GameStop raised its full-year forecast.
Total U.S. sales of video game hardware and software fell 19 percent in July, in line with a downward trend seen since last year, according to a report by market research firm NPD.
Benchmark & Co analyst Mike Hickey said that in an environment where consumers are cautious about spending, GameStop raising its forecast ahead of the release of new consoles was a big positive.
"Demand for those next gen consoles is high, and supply is better than expected," Hickey said.
Sony said on Tuesday that it was seeing strong demand for its next-generation consoles, with over 1 million PlayStation 4 pre-orders before the console hits the shelves on Nov. 15 in North America.
Microsoft is expected to launch the third version of its console, the Xbox One, later this year.
GameStop expects full-year earnings to be in the range of $3.00 to $3.20 per share, higher than its previous forecast of $2.90 to $3.15 per share.
The company also expects its full-year same-store sales to range between a drop of 3.5 percent and an increase of 1.5 percent. It had previously expected a decline of 5 percent to a growth of 1.5 percent.
GameStop's net income fell to $10.5 million, or 9 cents per share, in the second quarter from $21.0 million, or 16 cents per share, a year earlier, but was higher than the average analyst estimate of 4 cents per share.
The Grapevine, Texas-based company said total revenue slipped about 11 percent to $1.38 billion in the quarter ended July 31.
Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.36 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Shares of the company were up at $54.45 on the New York Stock Exchange.