Strong Holiday Sales Boost Take-Two Interactive's Q3 Earnings

Strong holiday sales enabled Take-Two Interactive to deliver better-than-expected revenues in the third quarter and turn a profit for the nine-month period after reporting losses a year earlier.

The company’s nine-month results ended Dec. 31 included revenues of $954.6 million, jumping 80 percent, compared with the same period a year earlier. In that same period, income from continuing operations totaled $76.2 million, or 88 cents a diluted share, compared with a loss of $98.4 million, or $1.27 a share, for the year-ago period.

Third-quarter net revenues totaled $334.3 million on earnings of 45 cents per diluted share. That easily beat analyst expectations, which had forecasted revenues of $314 million and earnings per share of 34 cents.

The New York-based game maker, known for hit titles such as Grand Theft Auto and NBA 2K11, also increased its financial guidance for the fiscal year 2011. The company now expects revenues of $130 to $150 million in Q4, and revenues of up to $1.1 billion for the year ending March 31.

The company’s forecasts now call for Q4 non-GAAP earnings per share to be in the range of a loss of 40 to 45 cents, and for the year from 80 to 85 cents to easily beat analysts’ previous expectations of 62 cents for the year.

In a release, Strauss Zelnick, chairman and CEO of Take-Two, said strong holiday results enabled the better-than-expected results. Going forward, it’s evaluating new revenue streams. “These include opportunities in Asia and Latin America, evolving downloadable content models and online multiplayer experiences,” he said.

More to follow after the company’s earnings call.

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