NEW YORK (
) -- Shares of
jumped on nearly three times their usual volume following indications of a strong launch for its
"THQ is up because their uDraw game is
, and it's been moving steadily up since release on Tuesday," said Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter told
in an emailed statement. "I think the market is reacting to a long-awaited hit, and their timing in front of holiday is really good.
Pachter, who has a neutral rating on THQ shares with a 12-month price target of $5, doesn't expect demand for uDraw to tail off anytime either and believes the company will do what's necessary to meet it.
"The only thing that will hold uDraw back is supply, as the company said it intends to make only 1 million or so this fiscal year," he said. "If it's sold out, I'm sure they will find a way to increase manufacturing capacity."
THQ shares finished Thursday up 44 cents, or 10.1%, at $4.81, its highest close since July 27. Volume of 2.9 million compared to the issue's trailing three-month daily average of 1.1 million. The stock is still down 13.3% so far in 2010, but it's now bounced 44.4% since scraping a 52-week high of $3.33 on Aug. 13.
In addition to the uDraw optimism, THQ announced the release of
Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner
on Thursday as an application for
iPhone and iPod Touch devices. It expects to have a version ready for the iPad in December.
THQ said the game, which sells for $4.99, features so-called augmented reality technology, which allows a user to "overlay enemy fighters on top of their natural surroundings and the device's compass or gyroscope to enable 360-degree, full body motion control movement."
THQ shares also rose 4% on Wednesday on heavier than normal volume. Company officials weren't immediately available for comment on the stock's move this week.
Wall Street is definitely in wait-and-see mode on THQ with 17 of the 22 analysts covering the stock rating it as a hold. The current median 12-month price target for the shares is $5. The Agoura Hills, Calif.-based company is in the midst of its fiscal third quarter, which ends in December, and the average estimate of analysts polled by
for earnings of 25 cents a share on revenue of $311.3 million.
THQ reported its fiscal second-quarter results earlier this month, coming in with a slightly narrower loss than Wall Street was expecting as revenue of $70.4 million topped the consensus view of $66.4 million.
Written by Michael Baron in New York.
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