‘Grand Theft Auto’ maker Take-Two raises revenue forecast

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(Reuters) – Videogame publisher Take-Two Interactive Software Inc (TTWO.O) raised its full-year adjusted revenue forecast above analysts’ estimates on Wednesday, driven by the continued success of its popular “Grand Theft Auto” game.

The company now expects adjusted revenue at between $1.65 billion and $1.75 billion in the year ending March 31, compared with its previous forecast of $1.42 billion to $1.52 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $1.54 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

In May, the company delayed the launch of its highly anticipated Western action-adventure “Red Dead” videogame to spring 2018 from fall 2017, which hurt its initial full-year forecast.

Take-Two said on Wednesday that both “Grand Theft Auto V” and “Grand Theft Auto Online” continued to outperform its expectations during the first quarter.

“Grand Theft Auto V”, which was launched in September 2013, was still No. 3 on market research firm NPD’s June list for top-selling games in the United States.

The company’s next releases are “NBA 2K18” on Sept. 19, and “WWE 2K18” in October.

Take-Two forecast current-quarter adjusted revenue of $465 million to $515 million, compared with the average analyst estimate of $441.7 million.

Sales from the high-margin digital business rose 55.9 percent to $268.2 million in the first quarter, as more players switch to downloading games rather than buying physical game discs.

Take-Two said net revenue rose 34.2 percent to $418.2 million in the quarter ended June 30.

On an adjusted basis, the company reported net revenue of $348.3 million for the quarter, beating the average analyst estimate of $281.4 million.

Take-Two reported net income of $60.3 million, or 56 cents per share, compared with a loss of $38.6 million, or 46 cents per share, a year earlier.

Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel