I don't envy Take-TwoInteractive (NASDAQ:TTWO) investors. Thursday, they'll have to wait through a full day of trading before their company gets around to revealing its fiscal Q4 and full year 2005 earnings numbers. And when the gaming software company does spill the beans, the news will almost certainly disappoint.

Not in the sense of "missing estimates," mind you. But in the sense of being drastically worse numbers than Take-Two posted a year ago. According to the consensus estimates released by the 20 analysts following the company, Take-Two is believed to have earned no more than 33% of its Q4 2004 profits in Q4 2005. And if the full-year picture is brighter, it's only relatively so. Analysts believe Take-Two's profits dropped by 40% this year.

Granted, with expectations set so low, there's certainly the possibility that Take-Two will turn in an "upside surprise." Or report the expected abysmal numbers for Q4, but promise nirvana in the coming year. With nearly 20% of the company's float sold short, either of those outcomes could turn the expected rout into a short squeeze in, well, short order. Indeed, almost any good news has the potential to send this company's shares rocketing.

But don't bet on it.

Take-Two's share price has declined by 20% over the last year. This being in the context of a broader market that has performed relatively well, rising 7% in the same 52 weeks. Yet as their stock tanks, Take-Two insiders -- the people who know the company best -- aren't buying the shares hand over fist; to the contrary, they're bailing out. Over the last six months, insider holdings are down by more than 40%; at present, insiders apparently have so little faith that they own less than 1% of the shares of this relatively tiny, $1.3 billion company.

After a series of three earnings warnings, culminating in November's expectations walk-back to profits of $0.53 to $0.56 per share, you can't really blame the insiders for abandoning ship. They like losing money just as little as do you or I. When you combine Take-Two's own product delay-issues with the anemic gaming software market caused by (1) gamers' hoarding of cash as they await new platform releases from Sony (NYSE:SNE) and Nintendo, and (2) the Great Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox 360 Deficit of Christmas '05, odds are no one but the Take-Two shorts will be making money Thursday.

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Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position, long or short, in any company named above.