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Take-Two Interactive Tests Loyalties

Shares of Take-Two Interactive (TTWO - Get Report) plunged Friday after the company gave a disappointing outlook for coming quarters and said that it had received another grand jury subpoena.

Take-Two's report -- just the latest in a litany of bad news in recent months -- made even long-term bulls question the company's management and prospects. Perhaps more importantly for the company's stock price on Friday, analysts responded by slashing their earnings estimates and cutting their price targets for the stock.

Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey, for instance, who has long recommended Take-Two shares, titled his report on the company on Friday "Pain, Disgust and Agony," and took aim at the company's lack of specific guidance for coming quarters and its "spiraling chaos of continued bad news."

"We have dramatically lowered our earnings expectations based on management's indication the Street was too high and our 'expect the very worst' conditioned response to operational performance. We believe management's continued inability to provide guidance is either from inadequate internal financial controls and/or guidance too undesirable to report, neither of which leaves of with much confidence," Hickey wrote.

Still, while Hickey brought down his price target from $22 to $18 -- he had a target of $24 as recently as April -- he reiterated his buy rating on Take-Two shares, citing the company's "potential earnings power and relative valuation."
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