Game publisher Take-Two Interactive’s (TTWO) Q1: Not bad.
The company lost 52 cents per share, a penny worse than the Street’s consensus, and posted revenue of $240 million, beating expectations by about $29 million.
Investors aren’t going to pay much attention to these results, though, because they’re focused on two questions: Is there any news on the Electronic Arts (ERTS) bid, and how will the next Grand Theft Auto do when it goes on sale next month?
Take-Two’s answer from the conference call: They’re not reconsidering the bid, even though TTWO is now trading below ERTS’ offer of $26 (TTWO is climbing after hours, though – as of this post it’s now at $25.30). And GTAIV is going be huge – so huge the company is bumping up guidance.
Executive Chairman Strauss Zelnick reiterates that the bid “undervalues” the company and “is not in the best interests of Take-Two’s stockholders.” And again, he’d be happy to talk to ERTS once GTAIV comes out at the end of April.
Take-Two says it pre-orders for GTA are better than expected, so it’s raising guidance for both Q2 and 2008. for the second quarter of 2008 and for the entire year. They’re particularly excited about the game’s multiplayer options.
The company hasn’tt put a football game on its release schedule, signaling that it may finally stop trying to compete with the giant Madden franchise, which is owned by… Electronic Arts.