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Take-Two Announces Q3 Results, Reveals Release Changes

by Judy on Sept. 7, 2005 @ 2:29 p.m. PDT

Take 2 today announced financial results for its Q3 and nine months ended July 31, 2005. Net sales and losses were up 6% and 100%, respectively, from last year. So far, net sales have increased 30%, and net income is $18.3M. Bully (PS2/Xbox) has been delayed to provide additional development time, while Civilization IV is ahead of schedule and has been scooted up into fiscal 2005. An all new IP for the X360 is mentioned, as well as extensions of the Grand Theft Auto franchise.

Net sales in the third quarter increased 6% to $169.9 million, compared to $160.9 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2004. Net loss for the quarter was $28.8 million, compared to a net loss of $14.4 million last year, with a net loss of $(0.41) per share compared to a net loss per share of $(0.21) last year.

Net sales for the nine months ended July 31, 2005 increased 30% to $894.4 million, compared to $689.7 million for the same period a year ago. Net income for the first nine months increased to $18.3 million from net income of $2.7 million in the comparable period last year. Diluted earnings per share of $0.26 increased from $0.04 per diluted share in the prior year's first nine months.

Take-Two attributed its increased third quarter sales to the launch of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for Xbox and PC and Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition for the PSP, along with the release of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on multiple platforms and Sid Meier's Pirates! for Xbox.

The Company initiated its stock repurchase program during the third quarter and completed the entire $25 million program shortly after the end of the quarter. Approximately 925,000 shares were purchased at an average price of $26.96 per share.

Guidance

Take-Two is updating its fiscal 2005 guidance primarily to reflect the movement of Bully for PlayStation 2 and Xbox out of the current fiscal year to provide additional development time for the title, the movement of the Japanese launch of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for PlayStation 2 out of the current fiscal year, and the movement of Sid Meier's Civilization IV for PC from fiscal 2006 into fiscal 2005. The Company now expects $1.22 to $1.27 billion in net sales and $0.85 to $0.90 in diluted net income per share for the fiscal year ending October 31, 2005.

Take-Two is issuing initial guidance for fiscal 2006, excluding the estimated impact from adoption of FASB 123:

  • For the fiscal year ending October 31, 2006, $1.4 to $1.5 billion in net sales and $1.25 to $1.55 in diluted net income per share.
  • For the first quarter ending January 31, 2006, $350 to $400 million in net sales and $0.14 to $0.20 in diluted net income per share.

The Company's diluted earnings/(loss) per share for all periods above do not include the impact of adopting FASB 123, requiring the expensing of employee stock options. With the adoption of FASB 123 beginning on November 1, 2005, the Company's estimated diluted net income per share guidance will be $1.05 to $1.30 for the fiscal year ending October 31, 2006 and $0.10 to $0.15 for the first quarter ending January 31, 2006.

Rockstar Games

In the third quarter, Rockstar released Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for Xbox and PC and Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition for the PSP system. Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition was the best selling PSP title in the United States in July, according to NPD Funworld estimates. Also in the third quarter, Rockstar launched the PlayStation 2 Greatest Hits version of Red Dead Revolver, bringing Take-Two's catalog of Greatest Hits products for PlayStation 2 to eleven titles.

Rockstar released Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition for the PSP in Europe last week in conjunction with the European launch of the PSP system. Later in the fourth quarter Rockstar is introducing an all new Grand Theft Auto title: Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, for the PSP in North America and Europe. Returning to Liberty City, the setting of Grand Theft Auto 3, the title has an entirely original storyline with all new missions and the freedom, production value and gameplay of all Grand Theft Auto titles.

Also planned for fourth quarter release is The Warriors for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, a new Rockstar title based on the Paramount Pictures feature film. Developed by Rockstar Toronto, The Warriors expands the cinematic journey of the film, reinventing the street brawler to create an intense, stylized and unparalleled gameplay experience.

Rockstar's fiscal 2006 pipeline includes the release of Bully on PlayStation 2 and Xbox in the second quarter and a sequel of a Rockstar brand in the third quarter. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for PlayStation 2 is expected to be released in Japan in the first quarter. A title based on a new brand for the Xbox 360 is planned for the second quarter. Additional fiscal 2006 products include two new titles for the PSP system, as well as extensions of the Grand Theft Auto franchise.

2K Games, 2K Sports and Global Star

Products released in the third quarter included Sid Meier's Pirates! for Xbox and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on multiple platforms.

Fourth quarter titles from 2K Games will include Sid Meier's Civilization IV for PC; Shattered Union and Serious Sam II, both for Xbox and PC; Zathura for PlayStation 2 and Xbox; Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth for Xbox; and the North American release of Conflict: Global Terror on multiple platforms.

2K Sports' fourth quarter releases will include NBA 2K6 and NHL 2K6, both for PlayStation 2 and Xbox; Top Spin for PlayStation 2; and World Poker Tour on multiple platforms.

Global Star's fourth quarter releases will include Ford vs Chevy for PlayStation 2 and Xbox and console titles for Codename: Kids Next Door and Dora the Explorer.

Fiscal 2006 first quarter releases include The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for PC and Xbox 360 from 2K Games; and NBA 2K6, NHL 2K6, College Hoops 2K6, Top Spin 2, and Amped 3, all for the Xbox 360 from 2K Sports. Additionally, 2K Sports will ship College Hoops 2K6 on PlayStation 2 and Xbox, and Top Spin 2 on the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS.

Additional products planned for fiscal 2006 include Prey, Snow, and 24: The Game from 2K Games and various MLB, NBA and other sports titles from 2K Sports.

Jack of All Games

The Company's Jack of All Games distribution business realized reduced sales in the third quarter primarily attributable to a decrease in average selling prices of interactive entertainment products as the industry transitions to next-generation technology along with increased competition in the value software market. Jack of All Games is focused on improving fourth quarter and fiscal 2006 performance through increased sales of value added product bundles, multi-game compilations and exclusive product offerings.

Management Comments

Paul Eibeler, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Take-Two is in an excellent competitive position as our industry enters its next cycle of growth. We have a high quality line-up that is the most diverse in our history--including the latest versions of established franchises, as well as newer titles that will become tomorrow's hits. Our Rockstar, 2K Games, 2K Sports and Global Star labels are building a product pipeline that will appeal to a broad range of consumers."

Mr. Eibeler continued, "We are particularly excited about the capabilities of the next generation hardware, which play to our strength--the ability to produce creative and engaging games that generate enthusiastic responses from gamers and reviewers alike. And, we have the financial and operational resources to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the current installed base and the millions of next generation console and handheld units that will be added in the coming months and years."

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