Game maker gets joy ride from Grand Theft Auto
TAKE-TWO Interactive Software reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and raised its full-year forecast, buoyed by the enduring popularity of Grand Theft Auto V and the launch of its latest wrestling game.
Shares of the video-game publisher, which also owns the Battleborn franchise, rose nearly 9 per cent in extended trading on Wednesday.
Take-Two raised its full-year adjusted revenue forecast to US$1.48 billion (S$2.1 billion) to US$1.53 billion - from US$1.33 billion to US$1.43 billion - and its adjusted profit forecast to US$1.65 to US$1.75 per share from US$1 to US$1.15.
The company posted third-quarter adjusted revenue of US$486.8 million.
This was 49 per cent lower than a year earlier - a quarter that included the re-release of Grand Theft Auto V for the latest gaming consoles, as well as the launch of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and Sid Meier's Civilisation: Beyond Earth.
But it was significantly above the average analyst estimate of US$452.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters.
Grand Theft Auto, which allows players to cruise a make-believe gameworld based on real-life locations, is Take-Two's most lucrative franchise.
The latest version, Grand Theft Auto V, was the fifth-highest-selling physical video game in the United States last year, according to research firm NPD.
Take-Two's sales were also boosted in the holiday quarter by the release of WWE 2K16, the latest game in the professional wrestling franchise.
The company also benefited from its high-margin digital business, which made up about 44 per cent of its total adjusted sales for the third quarter versus 39 per cent in the preceding three months.
"The wind is at our back because of the trend towards digital distribution," Take-Two chief executive Strauss Zelnick said in an interview.
In the current quarter, Take-Two is expected to benefit from the launch today of XCOM 2, a tactical game that pits a military force against alien invaders, for PC, Mac and Linux users.
The company's shares closed at US$32.83 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.