Take-Two posts larger 4Q loss on higher charges

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NEW YORK (AP) — Video game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. posted a wider loss for its fiscal fourth quarter on Thursday as charges and expenses outweighed a 6 percent increase in revenue.

The results were in line with the reduced guidance the company gave earlier this month. However, the company’s fiscal 2010 disappointed investors, who sent shares down more than 2 percent after-hours.

For the three months ended Oct. 31, the company reported a loss of $22 million, or 28 cents per share, compared with a loss of $15 million, or 20 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Excluding $14.8 million in impairment charges on its distribution business, as well as stock options costs and other items, adjusted profit totaled $7 million, or 9 cents per share, in the latest period. Revenue climbed to $343.4 million from $323.4 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting, on average, adjusted earnings of 9 cents per share on sales of $340.4 million.

The company, which relies heavily on its popular “Grand Theft Auto” franchise to turn a profit, posted a loss of $137.9 million or $1.80 per share for the fiscal year. That’s down from a profit of $97.1 million or $1.28 per share for fiscal 2008, when it launched “Grand Theft Auto IV.”

Full-year revenue fell 37 percent to $968.5 million from $1.54 billion.

Take-Two forecast an adjusted loss of 40 cents to 50 cents for the current quarter, on sales of $210 million to $260 million. The midpoints of those ranges top the average estimates of analysts, who expect a loss of 47 cents per share on sales of $226.6 million, on average. But for fiscal 2010, the company expects an adjusted loss of 40 cents to 60 cents per share on revenue of $1 billion to $1.2 billion. Analysts are expecting a loss of 42 cents per share and sales of $1.3 billion.

“We believe that 2010 will continue to be challenging and our outlook, while disappointing, reflects a prudent approach to managing our business,” said Chairman Strauss Zelnick, in a statement.

The company’s product lineup for 2010 includes “BioShock 2,” ”Mafia II,” ”Max Payne 3″ and “Red Dead Redemption.” It also just announced “Spec Ops: The Line,” a military third-person shooter game, for fiscal 2011.

Shares rose 15 cents to close at $8.25, but slid 22 cents to $8.07 after-hours following the report.

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