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Stockwatch: Take-Two Announces Quarterly Loss, Raises Forecast

Take-Two Interactive Software, owner of the Rockstar Games and Global Star Software publishing brands, announced its fiscal results late Thursday, with a third-quarter 20...
Take-Two Interactive Software, owner of the Rockstar Games and Global Star Software publishing brands, announced its fiscal results late Thursday, with a third-quarter 2004 net loss of $14.4 million, slightly greater than analysts expected. However, the company also raised its net sales forecast ahead of the October release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and the company's shares were trading at $32.90, up 90 cents from the day's close, after normal trading ended. The company's shares have moved quite fluidly between $25 and $40 within the last year, but have seen a steady increase in the last 3 months. Listed highlights for the quarter included Rockstar San Diego's Red Dead Revolver, apparently a 'significant contributor' to revenue, although sales numbers weren't specified. The company also mentioned that Grand Theft Auto: Vice City has now sold over 400,000 copies in Japan, a significant amount for a Western title. The company also announced a re-organization which removed the company's third publishing brand, Gathering, making its titles part of a 'significantly broadened' portfolio for the formerly budget Global Star brand. Gathering, once known as Gathering Of Developers (G.O.D.), was the developer-centric publisher acquired by Take-Two in 2000. Going forward, the big news is the release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, due in North America on October 26, 2004 and in Europe on October 29, 2004, a week's delay from the previous release date, and a Japanese release has also been confirmed for fiscal 2005. The Game Boy Advance iteration of Grand Theft Auto is also due later in October. Elsewhere, the formerly November-due Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition has now moved to January 2005, and The Warriors, based on the Paramount Pictures feature film and once scheduled for a 2004 release, is now due for launch on PlayStation 2 in April 2005. It's likely that the GTA: San Andreas juggernaut will make these slippages somewhat financially immaterial to Take-Two, however, and the new release dates may even help by spreading the company's revenue out more evenly over the entire year.

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