September 7, 2005 - Take-Two Interactive showed both strong sales and expected losses in its third quarter earnings report today. This quarter was an eventful one for the company as it saw both the release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on Xbox and PC, and the game's eventual switch to an AO rating -- and removal from most retail shelves -- due to the "hot coffee" controversy.
While the company previously acknowledged that San Andreas's hiatus from shelves would negatively affect sales, Take-Two said its Q3 sales were still bolstered by strong performance of the PC and Xbox versions of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, as well as the success of Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition on PSP.
For the third quarter ended July 31, 2005, Take-Two reports net sales of $169.9 million, compared to $160.9 million in the same period last year. Further along the balance sheet, the company reports a net loss of $28.8 million, compared to a net loss of $14.4 million in Q3 last year.
Reported revenues match Take-Two's lowered revenue forecast following the ESRB's re-rating of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
For the first nine months of the company's fiscal 2005, Take-Two reports net sales of $894.4 million, compared to $689.7 million in the first three quarters last year. Net income for the first three quarters is $18.3 million, well above an income of $2.7 million for the first three quarters last year.
Looking at its product schedule going forward, Take-Two matched a pleasant surprise with a delay. On the happy side, Civilization IV is now slated release before the end of October, and not in mid-November as previously expected. On the other hand, Rockstar's Bully for Xbox and PlayStation 2 is now scheduled for early spring 2006.
Take-Two is also serious about the Xbox 360, as the company outlined a strong lineup for the next-generation console. First, the company revealed today it is developing a game based on a new property for X360. Before this appears in spring 2006, the company has a healthy number of games scheduled near the launch X360 in November: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, NBA 2K6, NHL 2K6, College Hoops 2K6, Top Spin 2, and Amped 3.
Also for fiscal 2006, which begins in November, Take-Two plans two new PSP titles, as well as, interestingly enough, "extensions of the Grand Theft Auto franchise."
During a conference call with investors, Take-Two president and CEO Paul Eibeler stepped around questions about new GTA titles in the next year, though he once again emphasized the company's success on the PSP, suggesting at least some of the new content may arrive on Sony's portable.