Updated from 4:53 p.m. EDT
SAN FRANCISCO -- Video game publisher
posted a narrower-than-expected third-quarter loss and guided the full year in line with its revised expectations.
The company had
cut its outlook last month on news of the delay of its key game,
Grand Theft Auto IV
Take-Two's loss for the third quarter was $58.5 million, or 81 cents a share, compared to a loss of $91.4 million, or $1.29 a share, in the third quarter of fiscal 2006. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting a loss of 80 cents a share.
Excluding items, the company's loss was $46.1 million, or 64 cents a share, compared to $19.4 million, or 27 cents a share, in the third quarter of 2006.
Revenue dropped to $206.4 million from $241.2 million a year earlier, but beat analysts' expectations of $200.6 million.
Shares of Take-Two were recently up 65 cents, or 4.1%, to $16.40 in after-hours trading.
The decrease in net revenue year over year is largely due to strong prior-year sales of titles from the company's blockbuster
Grand Theft Auto
franchise, said Take-Two. Take-Two had released the
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
PlayStation 2 in June 2006.
Third-quarter sales were led by games
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
All-Pro Football 2K8
Take-Two also confirmed it may have an unexpected hit on hands this year. The company said it has already shipped 1.5 million BioShock games
released late last month. The company said it is exploring the idea of turning BioShock into a franchise and releasing more versions of the game for additional platforms. BioShock is currently available for PCs and
Xbox 360 console.
For the fourth quarter, Take-Two reiterated its guidance and said revenue is likely to be in the range of $275 million to $300 million, with loss in the range of 20 cents to 25 cents a share.
Analysts were expecting revenue of $287.9 million and a loss of 16 cents a share.
For fiscal year 2008, Take-Two expects revenue in the range of $1.1 billion to $1.4 billion and EPS of 80 cents to $1 a share. Analysts are expecting revenue of $1.43 billion and earnings of 88 cents a share.
For fiscal 2008, the company said its lineup includes
Grand Theft Auto IV
Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution
, the next in the
series and its sports titles,
Take-Two also said it has created a new publishing label, 2K Play, dedicated to casual gaming. The company had partnered with
Nickelodeon cable TV channel for an expansive handheld and console video game licensing agreement involving Nickelodeon's properties such as Nick Jr. and preschool television hits,
Dora the Explorer
Go, Diego, Go!
, the two top-ranked television shows for kids aged 2 to 5, will be the first games under the new 2K Play label and are expected to be released this fall in North America.
Take-Two also reaffirmed that it is on track for its
sports division, 2K Sports, to be profitable next year.