Hanukkah has passed and Christmas is still more than a week away, but


(ATVI) - Get Report

gave investors a nice gift on Thursday, raising its earnings and revenue outlook.

Both its recent releases and catalog titles are posting better-than-expected sales, the video-game publisher said in a statement. Additionally, the company's distribution arm is performing well.

"Our holiday releases and catalog titles continue to perform well worldwide on all major platforms, and we now have nine games that have shipped in excess of 1 million units," company CEO Robert Kotick said in the statement.

On the basis of that performance, Activision said it now expects to earn 55 cents a share on about $615 million in sales in the current holiday quarter. The company had previously

predicted that it would earn 49 cents a share on $500 million in sales. On average, analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting Activision to earn 50 cents a share in the quarter on sales of $505.43 million.

Company investors cheered the news. In recent trading, the company's stock was up $1.48, or 8%, to $20.10.

The company's updated outlook now brings its guidance above what analysts were expecting when it reported its second quarter results in October. At that point, sell-siders were predicting that the company would earn 54 cents a share on $516.2 million in sales.

After an analyst

downgrade led to a 5% decline last week, Activision shares have bounced back, rising nearly 20%.