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Take-Two Struggles to Stay in the Game

"Precarious is a pretty accurate word to describe their finances," says Arvind Bhatia, an analyst with Sterne, Agee & Leach. Bhatia has a sell rating on the stock and a price target of $12. Sterne Agee makes a market in Take-Two shares.

The company's situation took a turn for the worse in August when it said it will push back the release of Grand Theft Auto IV from October this year to second quarter fiscal 2008, ending April 30.

That forced Take-Two to reduce its revenue guidance for the financial year to a range of $950 million to $1 billion with a net loss in the range of $2.10 a share to $2.20 a share, including all charges. It had earlier forecast revenue in the range of $1.2 billion to $1.25 billion and break even on earnings, including all charges.

Rosy Forecast

Despite the added financial pressures, analysts say Take-Two can pull through if it can carry out its launch of Grand Theft Auto IV on schedule.

The forecast is rosy for Grand Theft Auto IV. Take-Two could sell 7.5 million to 8.5 million copies in the fiscal year 2008 ending Oct. 31 and 10.5 million to 11.5 million in the first full year, estimates Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan, which does not own shares of the company or have an investment banking relationship with it.

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