By Malathi Nayak
SAN FRANCISCO Oct 29 Take-Two Interactive
Software raised its fiscal 2014 results forecast on
Tuesday after reporting that second-quarter revenue quadrupled,
driven by record-breaking sales of the video game "Grand Theft
Shares in Take Two jumped after it reported the results,
which beat Wall Street forecasts. The stock has gained 5 percent
since its signature title went on sale in September.
"Grand Theft Auto V," a free-wheeling game in which players
roam an urban landscape modeled on Los Angeles, notched $1
billion in sales over its first three days, smashing records and
becoming the industry's fastest-selling title.
Take-Two raised its forecast for earnings and revenue in the
fiscal year ending March 31. It now expects revenue of $2.2
billion to $2.3 billion, with earnings-per-share of $3.50 to
$3.75 per share for the fiscal year. The previous forecast was
$1.76 billion to $1.9 billion in revenue, with earnings per
share of $2.25 to $2.50.
Shares in Take-Two were up 1.6 percent at $18.25 after
hours, from a close of $17.95 on the Nasdaq.
"The company is firing on all cylinders but the
thousand-pound gorilla this year for this company is Grand Theft
Auto V," CEO Strauss Zellnick said in an interview. "Our goal is
to have the 'James Bonds' of the interactive gaming industry."
Take-Two, which also publishes "BioShock Infinite," said
non-GAAP revenue was $1.27 billion in the quarter ended Sept 30,
compared to $288 million a year ago. That beat the $954 million
average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson-Reuters I/B/E/S.
On a non-GAAP basis, adjusted for the deferral of digital
revenue and other items, income was $325.6 million, or $2.49 per
share, compared with a net income of $10.2 million, or 11 cents
per share, a year earlier. That beat the Street's view of $1.71
per share, according to Thomson-Reuters I/B/E/S.
Take Two's bigger rival, Electronic Arts Inc,
reported higher quarterly profit due to cost controls and strong
digital sales. Revenues fell from a year earlier.
Electronic Arts, known for its "Battlefield" and "FIFA"
games, raised its fiscal year 2014 forecast for non-GAAP
earnings per share, adjusted for the deferral of digital revenue
and other items, from $1.20 to $1.25 per share.
"Continued gross margin improvement... and second, control
of our costs," enabled the company to increase its earnings
forecast, EA's CFO Blake Jorgensen said in an interview.
EA's shares were relatively unchanged in after-hours trading
after closing at $24.13 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday.
For the second quarter, ended Sept 30, EA's non-GAAP revenue
dipped to $1.04 billion from $1.08 billion a year ago. Non-GAAP
net income rose to $105 million, or 33 cents per share, from $49
million, or 15 cents per share, a year ago.