Take-Two Interactive Sales, Profit Top Views on ‘NBA2K’

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., publisher of the “Grand Theft Auto” video games, reported third-quarter results that beat analysts’ estimates on sales of its latest basketball title. The shares rose.

Take-Two, based in New York, reported net income of $71.4 million, or 66 cents a share, versus $14.1 million, or 16 cents, a year earlier, according to a statement today. Excluding some items, profit of 67 cents a share beat the 55-cent average estimate of 17 analysts.

Sales rose 71 percent to $405 million, above the $363.8 million average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The company, which on Jan. 31 delayed the next version of its best-selling “Grand Theft Auto,” cited sales of its “Borderlands 2” shooter game and “NBA 2K13,” which benefited after Electronic Arts Inc. canceled a rival basketball title. The publisher has shipped more than 15 million copies of “NBA 2K,” which received its highest overall rating ever, according to the statement.

“Our focus on quality really matters over time,” Chief Executive Officer Strauss Zelnick said in an interview. “If you give people what they want, they will come out for it.”

Take-Two advanced 11 percent to $14 in extended trading. The shares rose 1.2 percent to $12.66 at the close in New York, before the results, and have climbed 15 percent this year.

Revenue from digitally delivered content more than tripled from a year earlier and accounted for 23 percent of net revenue, driven by “Grand Theft Auto,” “Borderlands” and “NBA2K13.” The first “Grand Theft Auto” game in five years will start selling on Sept. 17.

For the year, Take-Two forecasts profit of 5 cents to 20 cents a share, excluding some items, compared to the 14-cent average of 15 analysts. Its forecast for sales of $1.15 billion to $1.20 billion matched the average estimate of 1.18 billion.

The company said today it authorized a plan to repurchase up to 7.5 million shares.

(Corrects sales increase in third paragraph.)
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