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Take-Two Jumps as Release Timeline Clarifies

Shares of Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) jumped more than 5% Monday after the video game maker set a date for the debut of its next Grand Theft Auto game.

Shares of Take-Two were recently up $1.60, or 5.1%, at $32.90.

Take-Two, a lightning rod among investors because of ongoing accounting controversies, announced that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas will hit shelves Oct. 19 in North America and Oct. 22 in Europe. The game will initially be available only on Sony's PlayStation 2 console.

The latest game is the fourth in the blockbuster Grand Theft Auto series, which has seen 30 million units shipped to date. Despite such success, Take-Two has been criticized by some investors as a one-hit wonder. Its stock is trading at a substantial discount to peers, with a price of only 13.7 times 2004 earnings.

Part of the reason for that discount, of course, is a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, in which the agency has notified Take-Two it is planning a civil action. The company has restated its results at least twice in less than three years.

Take-Two also was the only large video game maker to suffer weak sales during the crucial holiday season. The company will report results for its fiscal first quarter, which ended Jan. 31, on Thursday.

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