November 22, 2010 / 7:34 PM / 9 years ago

THQ shares rise on buzz around drawing product

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares of THQ Inc THQI.O, known for video game franchises such as “WWE SmackDown vs Raw,” jumped more than 8 percent on buzz around its new drawing tablet that can be used for art and games like Pictionary on Nintendo Co Ltd’s 7974.OS Wii.

“Investors are thinking that Black Friday will be big for that product,” said Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia.

THQ shares have been up 21 percent since the Wii accessory hit shelves on November 14. They were recently trading at $5.22 on the Nasdaq.

A THQ spokeswoman said the company could not release initial sales figures yet.

Employees at Toys R Us Inc’s TOY.UL Times Square location in New York said the product had not sold out but was “fairly popular.”

On Monday, the uDraw had risen to seventh place in Amazon.com Inc’s (AMZN.O) video game category, which Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey called a positive sign.

“Being a top-10 video game product on Amazon is a pretty telling indicator for demand,” Hickey said.

The product, priced at $69.99, will be a strong driver for THQ, which is a smaller video game publisher, Hickey added.

Earlier this month, THQ forecast full-year sales of all its products to be in the range of $825 million to $855 this year.

The uDraw accessory, exclusive to the Wii, represents a new direction for a company that is best known for its ultimate fighting titles and games like the gang-themed “Saints Row.”

In November, the company said it had increased production of the uDraw from 1 million to 1.3 million units after a favorable reaction from retailers. Chief Executive Brian Farrell has said he expects the product to sell “strong all through the holiday.”

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

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