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THQ Dims Outlook

Video-game publisher THQ (THQI) reduced its guidance for the second quarter and fiscal year, after lower-than-anticipated sales of two key games and a decision to delay release of other titles.

THQ said it expects second quarter sales of about $229 million and a net loss of about 11 cents a share, including stock-based compensation expenses of 8 cents a share.

Excluding one-time charges, the company estimates it will report a loss of about 3 cents a share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial are expecting second-quarter revenue of $236.6 million and earnings of 10 cents a share.

For the fiscal third quarter ending Dec. 31, THQ expects to report sales of about $490 million and earnings of about 61 cents a share, which includes 6 cents of stock-based compensation expense.

Excluding the stock-based compensation expense, THQ will report earnings of 67 cents a share. Analysts are expecting revenue of $521.3 million and earnings of $1.02 a share.

The revised second- and third-quarter expectations reflect lower-than-anticipated shipments of the company's two latest releases, Stuntman: Ignition and Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights.

"Second quarter results were also affected by higher than expected price protection for these titles," said THQ in a statement.

Shares of THQ were off 9 cents, or 0.3%, to $23.79 in recent after-hours trading.
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