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Grand Theft Auto IV

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Publisher: Take Two
Developer: Rockstar
Release Date: April 29, 2008

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Take-Two Q2 2008 Result Reveals 'Grand Theft Auto IV' (X360) DLC Delay

by Rainier on June 5, 2008 @ 2:41 p.m. PDT

What does the American dream mean today? For Niko Bellic fresh off the boat from Europe, it is the hope he can escape from his past. For his cousin, Roman, it is the vision that together they can find fortune in Liberty City, gateway to the land of opportunity. As they slip into debt and get dragged into a criminal underworld by a series of shysters, thieves and sociopaths, they discover that the reality is very different from the dream in a city that worships money and status, and is heaven for those who have them and a living nightmare for those who don't.

Net revenue for the second fiscal quarter was $539.8 million, compared to $205.4 million for the same quarter of fiscal 2007. Second quarter sales were led by the blockbuster, critically acclaimed Grand Theft Auto IV for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system and PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system.

Net income for the second quarter was $98.2 million or $1.29 per share, compared to a net loss of $51.2 million or $0.71 per share in the second quarter of fiscal 2007.

The second quarter results include $12.4 million in stock-based compensation expense ($0.16 per share); $3.8 million in professional fees and legal expenses, primarily related to Electronic Arts’ unsolicited tender offer ($0.05 per share) and $0.9 million in business reorganization costs ($0.01 per share). Results for the second quarter of 2007 included $16.3 million of business reorganization and related costs due to the Company’s management and board changes, legal expenses and other professional fees associated with the investigation of stock option grants, responses to the New York County District Attorney’s subpoenas, and other legal matters ($0.22 per share), as well as $5.8 million in stock-based compensation expense ($0.08 per share).

Non-GAAP net income was $115.4 million or $1.52 per share in the second quarter, compared to a net loss of $29.2 million or $0.41 per share in the second quarter of 2007. (Please refer to Non-GAAP Financial Measures and reconciliation tables included later in this release for additional information and details on non-GAAP items.)

For the six months ended April 30, 2008, net revenues were $780.3 million, compared to $482.8 million for the same period a year ago. Net income for the first half of fiscal 2008 was $60.2 million or $0.80 per share, compared to a loss of $72.8 million or $1.02 for the 2007 period. Results for the first six months of fiscal 2008 include $18.5 million in stock-based compensation expense ($0.25 per share); $5.3 million in professional fees and legal expenses, with the majority related to Electronic Arts’ unsolicited tender offer ($0.07 per share) and $1.1 million in business reorganization costs ($0.01 per share). Results for the first six months of fiscal 2007 included $23.5 million of business reorganization and related costs due to the Company’s management and board changes, legal expenses and other professional fees associated with the investigation of stock option grants, responses to the New York County District Attorney’s subpoenas, and other legal matters ($0.33 per share), as well as $9.8 million in stock-based compensation expense ($0.14 per share).

Non-GAAP net income was $85.1 million or $1.14 per share in the first six months of 2008, versus a net loss of $39.5 million or $0.55 per share in the comparable period of 2007. (Please refer to Non-GAAP Financial Measures and reconciliation information included later in this release.)

Business Highlights

Among the significant recent business developments, Take-Two noted the following:

* Rockstar Games released the highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto IV on April 29, 2008. The title surpassed all-time entertainment records for day one and week one sales, with approximately 6 million units sold through globally in the first week at an estimated retail value of more than $500 million. As of May 31, 2008, over 11 million units have been sold in to retailers and approximately 8.5 million units have been sold through to consumers.
* BioShock®, a wholly owned and internally developed title for Xbox 360 and Games for Windows® shipped over 2.2 million units since its debut in late August. 2K Games will be bringing this popular title to the PLAYSTATION®3 this fall, and Universal Pictures is developing a feature film based on BioShock to be directed by Gore Verbinski, director of the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy.
* Rockstar Games announced the acquisition of Mad Doc Software, one of the premier independent development studios in North America. The studio, renamed Rockstar New England, most recently worked with Rockstar on the Xbox 360 version of the critically acclaimed Bully: Scholarship Edition.
* Hubert Larenaudie was named President for Asia to head Take-Two’s growth initiatives in the Asia Pacific region including expanding distribution of the Company's interactive entertainment products; developing a strong presence in Japan; and working to establish an online game operation, especially in China and Korea. He had previously served in senior roles at Electronic Arts and Vivendi.

“Take-Two’s performance has exceeded expectations through the first half of fiscal 2008, clearly demonstrating the creative, operational and financial strength of our business,” noted Strauss Zelnick, Chairman of Take-Two. “Our results reflected the extraordinary success of Grand Theft Auto IV, the value of our catalog of titles, and our ongoing initiatives to improve the efficiency of our operations. We look forward to continuing to enhance stockholder value by building on our broad portfolio of internally developed and owned interactive entertainment brands, leveraging the opportunities in the current industry cycle, and operating our business in an effective manner.”

Ben Feder, Chief Executive Officer of Take-Two, added, “Based on the Company’s stronger than expected results, we have increased our financial guidance for fiscal 2008 and are confident in our ability to continue to perform for the balance of the year. Furthermore, Take-Two is extremely well positioned in an industry that is experiencing explosive growth. We believe that our exceptional creative talent, diverse range of hit products, and the proven global demand for our titles will be the drivers of increasing value over time.”

Financial Guidance

The Company is providing guidance for the third fiscal quarter ending July 31, 2008 and fourth fiscal quarter ending October 31, 2008 and is raising its guidance for the fiscal year ending October 31, 2008 as detailed below. Fiscal 2008 guidance reflects the release of the first installment of episodic content for Grand Theft Auto IV for Xbox 360 in the first quarter of fiscal 2009 instead of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 in order to provide a better balance in Take-Two’s release schedule.

Revenue* Non-GAAP EPS (a)(b)
Third quarter ending

7/31/2008
$325 to $375 $0.45 to $0.55
Fourth quarter ending

10/31/2008
$300 to $350 $0.10 to $0.20
Fiscal year ending

10/31/2008
$1,400 to $1,500 $1.65 to $1.85

* In millions

(a) The Company’s non-GAAP EPS estimates for the third quarter ending July 31, 2008, and fourth quarter and fiscal year ending October 31, 2008 exclude approximately $0.17, $0.18 and $0.59 per share, respectively, of stock-based compensation expense; and approximately $0.13, $0.01 and $0.23 per share, respectively, of professional fees and legal expenses related to unusual matters, including the Electronic Arts tender offer, and business reorganization costs. The Company’s stock-based compensation expense for the third and fourth quarters and fiscal 2008 reflects the cost of approximately two million stock options issued to ZelnickMedia that are subject to variable accounting. Actual expense to be recorded in connection with these options is dependent upon several factors, including future changes in Take-Two’s stock price.

(b) EPS estimates reflect tax expense primarily for international operations.

Key assumptions and dependencies underlying the Company’s guidance include continued consumer acceptance of the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Wii™ home video game system from Nintendo; the ability to develop and publish products that capture market share for these current generation systems while continuing to leverage opportunities on prior generation platforms; as well as the timely delivery of the titles detailed in this release.

Product Pipeline

The following titles shipped during the second quarter of fiscal 2008:

Title Platform

Bully: Scholarship Edition Xbox 360, Wii
Dora the Explorer: Dora Saves the Mermaids™ PS2
Go, Diego, Go!: Safari Rescue™ Wii, PS2
Grand Theft Auto IV Xbox 360, PS3
Major League Baseball® 2K8 Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PS2
Major League Baseball® 2K8 Fantasy All-Stars DS

Take-Two's lineup announced to date for the remainder of fiscal 2008 includes the following titles:

Title Platform

BioShock® PS3
Carnival Games™ DS
Carnival Games: Mini-Golf™ Wii
Don King Presents: Prizefighter Xbox 360, Wii, DS
Midnight Club: Los Angeles Xbox 360, PS3
Midnight Club: LA Remix PSP
MLB ® Power Pros 2008 Wii, PS2, DS
NBA® 2K9 Multiple platforms
NHL® 2K9 Multiple platforms
Sid Meier's Civilization® Revolution™ Xbox 360, PS3, DS
Top Spin 3 Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS

Conference Call

Take-Two will host a conference call today at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time to review these results and discuss other topics. The call can be accessed by dialing (877) 407-0984 or (201) 689-8577. A live listen-only webcast of the call will be available by visiting http://ir.take2games.com and a replay will be available following the call at the same location.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

In addition to reporting financial results in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), the Company uses non-GAAP measures of financial performance that exclude certain non-recurring or non-cash items. Non-GAAP gross profit, income (loss) from operations, net income (loss) and earnings (loss) per share are measures that exclude certain non-recurring or non-cash items and should be considered in addition to results prepared in accordance with GAAP. They are not intended to be considered in isolation from, as a substitute for, or superior to, GAAP results. These non-GAAP financial measures may be different from similarly titled measures used by other companies.

The non-GAAP measures exclude the following items from the Company’s statements of operations:

* Business reorganization, restructuring and related expenses
* Stock-based compensation
* Professional fees and expenses associated with the tender offer by Electronic Arts Inc., the Company’s stock options investigation and certain other unusual regulatory and legal matters
* Income tax effects of the items listed above

In addition, the Company may consider whether other significant non-recurring items that arise in the future should also be excluded from the non-GAAP financial measures it uses.

The Company believes that these non-GAAP financial measures, when taken into consideration with the corresponding GAAP financial measures, are important in gaining an understanding of the Company’s ongoing business. These non-GAAP financial measures also provide for comparative results from period to period. Therefore, the Company believes it is appropriate to exclude certain items as follows:

Business reorganization, restructuring and related expenses

In March 2007, the Company’s stockholders elected a new slate of members to Take-Two’s Board of Directors, who immediately removed the Company’s former President and Chief Executive Officer. Subsequently, the Company’s former Chief Financial Officer resigned. As a result of these actions and the implementation of a business reorganization plan, the Company incurred significant costs in the year ended October 31, 2007 to reduce headcount, relocate employees and consolidate sales and operational functions.

The Company recorded additional business reorganization costs in the three and six months ended April 30, 2008, and expects that additional business reorganization, restructuring and related costs will be recorded in the remainder of the 2008 fiscal year. Such costs are expected to relate to severance, asset write-offs and associated professional fees. The Company does not engage in reorganization activities on a regular basis and therefore believes it is appropriate to exclude business reorganization expenses from its non-GAAP financial measures.

Stock-based compensation

The Company does not consider stock-based compensation charges when evaluating business performance and management does not contemplate stock-based compensation expense in their short and long-term operating plans. Furthermore, executive and management incentive compensation plans are generally based on measures that exclude the impact of stock-based compensation. The Company places greater emphasis on stockholder dilution than accounting charges when assessing the impact of stock-based equity awards.

Professional fees and expenses associated with the tender offer by Electronic Arts Inc., the Company’s stock options investigation and certain other unusual regulatory and legal matters

The Company has incurred significant legal and investment banking expenses related to the tender offer launched by Electronic Arts Inc. on March 13, 2008 to acquire all of the Company’s outstanding shares. Additionally, the Company has realized significant legal and other professional fees associated with both the investigation of stock option grants and the Company’s responses to the New York County District Attorney’s subpoenas. One of management’s primary objectives is to bring conclusion to its regulatory matters. The Company continues to incur expenses for professional fees and has accrued for legal settlements that are outside its ordinary course of business. As a result, the Company has excluded such expenses from its non-GAAP financial measures.

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA

Earnings (loss) before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) is a financial measure not calculated and presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. Management uses EBITDA adjusted for business reorganization and related expenses (“Adjusted EBITDA”), among other measures, in evaluating the performance of the Company’s business units. Adjusted EBITDA is also a significant component of the Company’s incentive compensation plans. Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered in isolation from, or as a substitute for, net income/(loss) prepared in accordance with GAAP.

Reclassifications

Certain prior year amounts have been reclassified to conform to current year presentation.


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