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Take-Two Upgraded As Overdependency Fears Diminish

Based on a perceived undervaluing of the company's assets, Prudential Securities analyst Brent Thill upgraded game publisher Take-Two's stock rating from underweight to n...
Based on a perceived undervaluing of the company's assets, Prudential Securities analyst Brent Thill upgraded game publisher Take-Two's stock rating from underweight to neutral weight in statements released to investors and the financial press this morning. The publisher's stock rose 3.65% to $26.43 a share, likely partially as a result of the move, by the end of Thursday's trading, in a day that saw a number of video game stocks, including THQ's, increase in value significantly. "We believe given more recent evidence of improvements in product quality, the recent resolution with the SEC, and a healthy pipeline of potential hits, the current wide valuation gap vis-à-vis the group is unwarranted," said Thill in a memo to investors. The company recently settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission over alleged revenue inflation practices. More importantly, Thill's memo sought to debunk the perception that Take-Two's value (the company includes both the Rockstar and 2K Games publishing labels) was dependent solely on its Grand Theft Auto series, the next of which will be Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories for PlayStation Portable. "Portfolio diversification efforts at TTWO have been considerable," Thill additionally said, referring to Take-Two's new line of sports games, as well as other products from Rockstar such as Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition and the upcoming Bully, plus 2K Games titles including Civilization IV and Prey.

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