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Activision Boosts Sales Outlook

'Guitar Hero II' proves a big winner.

The popular video game

Guitar Hero II

set the cash registers ringing at

Activision

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.

The game publisher expects to report fourth-quarter revenue of $313 million -- well above last year's $188 million and its own forecast of $200 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson FirstCall were expecting revenue of $213.8 million.

Fourth-quarter revenue was also fueled by the company's

Call of Duty 3

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title, as well as better-than-expected performance in its distribution business because of the European launch of

Sony's

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latest console, the PlayStation 3.

For its full fiscal year, Activision expects to report revenue of $1.51 billion, compared with $1.47 billion a year earlier and nearly 8% higher than the company's outlook of $1.4 billion.

Shares of Activision were off 6 cents to $20.79 in recent trading. The stock has run up nearly 20% in the past three months.

The company did not provide preliminary EPS because of an ongoing internal investigation into its stock option grant practices.

"We ended fiscal 2007 as the number two U.S. third-party publisher, grew our market share in the U.S. and had two of the top 10 best selling U.S. titles, according to The NPD Group," said Robert Kotick, CEO of Activision, in a press release.

Activision also reaffirmed its fiscal-year 2008 revenue outlook, expecting to exceed $1.6 billion. Analysts were expecting $1.69 billion.

The company hopes to complete its review of historical stock option grants and file its restatements by the end of May 2007. Activision said it will offer detailed guidance on fiscal 2008 and additional financial results for the fourth-quarter 2007 once it has filed its financial restatements.

Activision expects to record additional noncash charges of about $67 million for stock-based compensation from options granted over a 13-fiscal-year period from 1994 to 2006.