Take-Two Interactive Second-Quarter Profit Soars on ‘GTA’ Game

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., citing “Grand Theft Auto V” video-game sales that smashed records, posted second-quarter results that beat analysts’ estimates and raised its outlook for the year.

Profit excluding some items soared to $325.6 million, or $2.49 a share, from $10.2 million, or 11 cents, a year earlier, New York-based Take-Two said today in a statement. That beat the $1.68 a share average off 18 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Take-Two said it has shipped about 29 million copies of “Grand Theft Auto V,” a mayhem-filled fantasy of thug life in Southern California. Sales over the three days after its Sept. 17 debut were the biggest ever for any video game or feature film, the company said last month.

“The timing for ‘GTA V’ was excellent,” Chief Executive Officer Strauss Zelnick in an interview. “We saw huge demand and really no other alternatives.”

Adjusted revenue, reflecting purchases of “Grand Theft Auto” through the end of the quarter, rose more than fourfold to $1.27 billion in the period ended Sept. 30, the company said, exceeding the $922.6 million average estimate of analysts.

Take-Two reported a net loss for the quarter of $124.1 million, or $1.40 a share. That compared with a loss of $12.5 million, or 15 cents, a year earlier.

The company was unable to include sales of “Grand Theft Auto V” in its consolidated results because an online component of the game wasn’t available until after the period.

Sales for the quarter, excluding “Grand Theft Auto” revenue, fell 45 percent to $148.8 million.

Take-Two rose 1.5 percent to $17.95 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 63 percent this year.

Take-Two raised its full-year adjusted sales forecast to as much as $2.3 billion, from as much as $1.88 billion seen previously. Profit excluding items will be $3.50 to $3.75 a share, up from a previous forecast of as much as $2.50.

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