Updated from May 7

Shares of video game maker THQ ( THQI) were off slightly in regular trading Thursday after the company posted a loss in its fourth fiscal quarter.

In recent trading, shares were down 62 cents, or 4%, to $14.82.

Best known for its games based on professional wrestling, THQ Wednesday reported quarterly net sales of $66.8 million, compared with $79.68 million a year ago, a drop of 16%. Nevertheless, sales were well ahead of Wall Street's expectations of $50 million, and guidance was on the high side of expectations.

The company suffered a net loss of $7.7 million, or 20 cents a share, compared to a 7-cent profit a year ago, according to generally accepted accounting principles. Excluding an impairment charge related to its investment in Yuke's, a developer of wrestling games, the loss was $5.8 million, or 15 cents a share, in line with company guidance and Wall Street's expectations.

Revenue was driven by stronger-than-expected PC and GameBoy Advance sales.

Because THQ has shifted from a calendar to a fiscal year, the March quarter also represented the end of a so-called stub fiscal year ending March 31.

Looking forward, the company expects a net loss of 10 cents to 12 cents in the first quarter of fiscal 2004 on sales of $75 million to $85 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting a loss of 9 cents on sales of $73.8 million. Two cents of the loss expected in the quarter is attributed to trade-show expenses recognized in the first quarter instead of being spread over the course of the fiscal year.

For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2004, THQ expects net income of 80 cents to 85 cents a share, on sales of $520 million to $530 million. Wall Street was projecting a profit of 82 cents on sales of 521.41 million.

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