SAN FRANCISCO - Video-games publisher
posted wider-than-expected loss in the fourth quarter and offered weak outlook for the current quarter following what the company called a light product release schedule.
Net loss for the quarter was $34.5 million, or 52 cents a share, compared with net income of $6.5 million, or 9 cents a share the year before as a result of higher operating expenses related to marketing of
, both of which failed to catch on with consumers, and accelerated software amortization charges.
Excluding items, the company reported fourth quarter net loss of $24.8 million, or 37 cents a share, compared with net income of $10.1 million, or 15 cents a share a year ago.
Net sales for the quarter were $187 million, up from $172.1 million a year ago. The company reported revenue of $217.6 million, excluding the impact of deferred revenue from its game
Frontlines: Fuel of War
Xbox 360 and Windows PC platforms.
Analysts were expecting a loss of 6 cents a share on revenue of $200.62 million.
THQ shipped 6 million units of its game
WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008
during fiscal 2008 and more than 1.5 million units of its off-road racing game,
MX vs. ATV Untamed
, the company said.
Shares of THQ fell $1.85, or 9.1%, to $18.50 in extended trading.
For the current quarter, THQ said it expects net sales in the range of approximately $115 million to $125 million and a net loss per share in the range of approximately 38 cents to 42 cents a share. The anticipated loss reflects a light product release schedule and the timing of expenses, said THQ.
Analysts are expecting revenue of $122.52 million and a loss of 18 cents a share.
For the current fiscal, THQ guided revenue in the range of approximately $1.17 billion to $1.2 billion and earnings in the range of 95 cents to $1.05 a share. Analysts are expecting revenue of $1.19 billion and earnings of $1.18 a share.
Separately, THQ said it has signed a licensing agreement with
to develop and publish video games based on the studio's upcoming animated feature film, with the working title
. The film is due in theaters on Nov. 5, 2010.
THQ's weak earnings comes on the heels of the poor results posted by game publisher
, maker of the hit
franchise will report its results Thursday, while industry leader
will post its fourth-quarter earnings next week.