Video-game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO: Quote), Tuesday reported a first-quarter loss that widened from last year, hurt mainly by weak sales of its latest game 'Max Payne 3.' Both earnings and revenues for the quarter were short of expectations.
Take-Two, which wholly owns 2K Games and Rockstar Games, also lowered its financial forecast for fiscal year 2013, and detailed its guidance for second quarter, both of which are expected to come in well below current Street estimates.
Take-Two, which publishes the hit Grand Theft Auto series and the Midnight Club racing series, said its revenues for the first quarter dropped to $226.1 million from $334.4 million last year. Wall Street analysts estimated revenues of $254.18 million for the quarter.
Chief Executive Strauss Zelnick blamed the lower-than-expected sales of video games 'Spec Ops: The Line' and 'Max Payne 3' as the primary cause for lower revenues.
Video-game companies are trying to cope with lower sales and searching new avenues to improve as game shoppers are unwilling to buy the expensive video-games, amidst weak economy and high unemployment rate. The growing use of smartphones and tablets for gaming has also made a dent in the sales of these expensive video-games.
Nevertheless, Take-Two, which publishes games for mainly serious video gamers and has many cult followers, expects a better year going forward with the help of upcoming releases.
Zelnick said, "Early consumer enthusiasm suggests robust demand for our extraordinary lineup of upcoming releases, particularly Borderlands 2, NBA 2K13 and BioShock Infinite. We continue to expect fiscal 2013 to be one of the best years in Take-Two's history."
New York-based Take-Two' loss for the first quarter widened to $110.8 million or $1.30 per share from $8.7 million or $0.11 per share last year.
Excluding one-time items, the company reported a loss of $1.16 per share compared to earnings of $0.02 per share last year. On average, 17 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected loss of $0.65 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Looking forward to the second quarter, Take-Two expects adjusted loss in a range of $0.30 to $0.15 per share, and revenues of $200 million to $250 million. Analysts currently expect earnings of $0.12 per share and revenues of $240.31 million for the quarter.
Take-Two lowered its financial guidance for the full year 2013. The company now expects full-year 2013 adjusted earnings of $1.75 to $2.00 per share, and revenues of $1.70 billion to $1.80 billion. Analysts currently expect earnings of $2.25 per share on revenues of $1.82 billion.
Previously, the company expected adjusted earnings of $2.00 to $2.25 per share and revenues of $1.75 billion to $1.85 billion.
TTWO closed Tuesday's trading at $8.78, down $0.35 or 3.83%, on a volume of about 2.6 million shares on the Nasdaq. In after hours, the stock further lost $0.23 or 2.60%.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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