UPDATE 2-THQ lowers its outlook, shares fall

Wed Feb 2, 2011 5:10pm EST

* Quarterly sales fall 11 pct

* Lowers earnings forecast based on game delay, movie games

* Shares fall more than 12 pct (Adds analyst comment, byline)

By Liana B. Baker

NEW YORK, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Video game publisher THQ Inc's THQI.O revenue fell in the third quarter and the maker of "WWE SmackDown vs Raw" and "Saints Row" issued a weaker-than-expected earnings forecast, sending shares down more than 12 percent.

THQ lowered its earnings outlook for its current, fiscal fourth quarter to a range of 5 to 15 cents, compared with the 30 to 38 cents that analysts were expecting. The company's previous earnings forecast was 35 to 45 cents.

"Fourth-quarter guidance was a little disappointing," said MKM Partners analyst Eric Handler.

The company said it lowered its earnings outlook because of the delay of its "UFC Personal Trainer" video game and weaker sales of games based on movies for children.

The company posted a net loss of $14.9 million, or 22 cents per share, compared with a profit of $542,000, or 1 cent per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, THQ's EPS was 37 cents, which beat analysts' average estimate of 26 cents a share, according to Thomson-Reuters I/B/E/S.

THQ's revenue fell 11 percent to $314.6 million from $356.9 million a year earlier.

Shares fell 81 cents to $5.60 following the earnings report. They closed at $6.41 on the Nasdaq. (Reporting by Liana B. Baker; Editing by Gary Hill)