Ahead of major publisher and developer Ubisoft's third quarter earnings report, which is scheduled for Tuesday, January 23, analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan Securities has indicated that he believes that the the firm will report earnings that are in line with or even marginally above previous estimates of €285 million ($368.7 million).
According to data released by the NPD Group, Ubisoft's U.S. retail sales were $168 million for the quarter, a figure that Wedbush commented as being 19 percent higher than the $141 million reported during the same period the previous year.
In addition, in looking at the company's European business, the analyst noted that a strong launch of the Wii (for which Ubisoft contributed multiple games, including Rayman: Ravin' Rabbits
) and continued strong sales of the Xbox 360 console indicate similar sales growth in that region as well. Ubisoft guidance calls for 12 percent third quarter year-over-year growth.
Finally, Pachter added that the analyst expects Ubisoft to increase its guidance for fiscal 2007, which currently calls for revenues between €602 – 613 million ($779 – 793 million). “The company’s implied Q4 revenue guidance is for €150 – 160 million, and our estimate is €168 million,” wrote Pachter. “Current FY:08 guidance is for revenue growth of 25% and operating margin (before stock option expense) of 8%, which we believe is easily achievable.”
Wedbush Morgan is maintaining its 'buy' rating, and a 12-month target price €34 ($44) for Ubisoft shares, which were trading at €28.26 ($36.58), up 4.55%, as of this writing.