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Grand Theft Auto V drives Take-Two to better-than-expected earnings

The Grand Theft Auto and Borderlands publisher increased its forecasted earnings for its current fiscal year as it reported the better-than-expected financial results for its third quarter.

Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two today increased its forecasted earnings for its current fiscal year as it reported the financial results for the third quarter, the three-month holiday period ended December 31st, 2015.

During that period Take-Two reportedly saw $99.7 million in profit on roughly $486.8 million in revenue, a significant drop from the $268.6 million profit it made on about $953.9 million in revenue during the same period last year -- when the company's cash cow, Grand Theft Auto, saw release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

That's actually a smaller drop than Take-Two was expecting, and based on that better-than-expected performance the company is raising its full-year earnings forecast to $1.48-$1.53 billion from $1.33-$1.43 billion.

Take-Two attributes its better-than-expected earnings to "robust sales" of Grand Theft Auto V, NBA 2K16 and WWE16. Further, the company claims it has now sold over 60 million copies of Grand Theft Auto V to stores -- though not all of those units have necessarily been purchased by customers.

The company claims GTA was the leading driver of its digitally-delivered content sales this quarter, which accounted for $213.6 million in revenue -- or roughly 44 percent of its total revenue.

Intriguingly, Take-Two reports it saw its "highest-ever revenue from recurrent consumer spending" this quarter, which encompasses virtual currency and DLC purchases for games in its catalog. Revenue from this recurrent spending now accounts for roughly 54 percent of the firm's revenue on digitally-delivered content, or roughly 24 percent of its total revenue for the quarter.

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