In a concerted effort to shed its label as a "one-trick pony," Take-Two Interactive
In its holiday-encompassing fiscal first quarter, ended Jan. 31, Take-Two saw quarterly revenues climb 34% above the year-ago period to $502.5 million, helping net income jump 74% to $31.8 million, or $1.19 per share. Those results blew away the analyst estimate for earnings of $1.09 per share and $452.6 million in sales.
Sales of the controversial megablockbuster Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas have already eclipsed 12 million units on the Sony
It seems apparent that Take-Two's foray into the sports simulation gaming market is paying off.
With better-than-expected sales from GTA, Take-Two raised its sales guidance for the second quarter to between $200 million and $210 million from $170 million to $190 million. But as the company continues to invest more heavily in its sports games, Take-Two also lowered its second-quarter guidance to post a loss of $0.20 per share, at the bottom end of its previous guidance for a loss of $0.10 to $0.20 per share.
Similarly, Take-Two also said that third-quarter earnings would come between $0.05 and $0.15 per share, well short of the $0.33 per share analyst estimate. The company targeted third quarter sales of $220 million to $240 million, helped by the release of GTA on the Microsoft
For the full year, the company expects to earn $2.10 to $2.20 per share on sales of $1.3 billion to $1.35 billion.
At under 18 times this year's earnings, Take-Two still trades at a substantial discount to rival Electronic Arts
That said, Take-Two does have quality non-sports titles such as its Midnight Club and Max Payne series, and the company is a legitimate competitor to EA in the NBA and NHL titles -- despite losing its key ESPN brand to EA -- and should have a stronghold in Major League Baseball games with its semi-exclusive agreements. Take-Two's commitment to sports should lead to smoother and more predictable profit growth. While not quite a deep value play, I think that Take-Two represents a valid video game play for the right investor.
For more on Take-Two, check out:
- Take-Two Takes the Mound
- Take Two for Take-Two
- EA's Perfect Score
- Game On for Take-Two
- Sega vs. EA Sports
Fool contributor Jeff Hwang owns shares of Electronic Arts.