Take-Two Interactive shares rise over 8 percent

NEW YORK Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:35am EST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares of Take Two Interactive Software Inc (TTWO.O) surged 8.8 percent on Friday after posting stronger-than-expected earnings that pleased investors.

Shares of the video game maker rose to $12.99 on the Nasdaq.

On Thursday, the company breezed past Street expectations as sales of its hit sports game "NBA 2K11" helped it weather a year without a new version of its blockbuster franchise "Grand Theft Auto.

"Investors think their earnings power is up a lot and their stock is reflecting that," said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter. Wedbush raised its Take-Two price target to $15 from $11.

This year marked the first time the company has been profitable in nearly a decade without the release of a new "Grand Theft Auto" game. … Take-Two's shares have outperformed those of its bigger rivals in the United States in 2010, but the volatile video game sector has turned off many investors in recent years.

(Reporting by Liana B. Baker, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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