Video game maker
was rallying Tuesday on the strength of strong May sales and positive analyst comments.
In recent trading, THQ was up $1.87, or 10.6%, to $19.51. Also up was rival
, gaining 80 cents, or 6.5%, to $13.21, and sector leader
, up $1.60, or 2.1%, to $78.10.
According to data from the NPD Group, which surveys retail sales, overall May video games software sales increased 19.9% year over year in May, a strong performance, but well below last year's increase of 31.3%.
May sales for THQ, which declined a year ago by 6.4%, were up 40.8%, NPD found. Activision, coming off last year's smash
games, saw sales drop by 39.1%, compared with least year's gain of 187%.
Felicia Rae Kantor of Lehman Brothers said she believes that the companies with the strongest game portfolios, Electronic Arts and
, will benefit the most from increasing sales of consoles and handhelds. (She expects an increase of 14.5% this year.)
"In the short-term, however, we believe THQ could perform well given the April and May sales figures and continued excitement from
," she wrote in a note to clients.
Lehman Brothers does not have a current banking relationship with companies mentioned in this article.
Several other investment houses, including U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, Credit Suisse First Boston and WR Hambrecht wrote bullishly about the sector on Tuesday.