Take-Two Interactive Shares Tank 17% After Sandbagged Guidance (TTWO)

by Chip Brian

take-two12/3/2009- Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) tumbled over 17% in after market trading on news that the video-game publisher lowered its full-year outlook for the second time, citing weak sales of its "Major League Baseball" titles as a major contributor.

Other contributing factors included inventory write-downs on its distribution business and underperformance from some of its major holiday game releases.

The company's Chairman Strauss Zelnick also came out and said that while Take-Two remains driven to its goal of operating profitability on an adjusted basis, it doesn't "expect to achieve that goal in fiscal 2010."

The company now anticipates fiscal Q4 EPS of $0.05 - $0.10 (vs. consensus estimates of $0.33), and down from its September forecast of $0.30 - $0.35.

Furthermore, Take-Two lowered its fiscal Q4 sales guidance to $325 million - $350 million (vs. consensus estimates $371.0 million), and down from its previous forecast of $350 million - $375 million.

Meanwhile, the company said it sees a loss of $1.10 - $1.15 per share for the full year on sales of $950 million - $975 million. Analysts, on average, were projecting a full-year loss of $0.84 per share on sales of $995.1 million.

Regarding the company's fiscal Q1, it said it now projects a loss of $0.40 - $0.50 per share (vs. consensus estimates of a loss of $0.26 per share) on sales of $210 million - $260 million (vs. consensus estimates of $244.2 million).

That being said, Take-Two said it was still targeting February 9th, 2010 for its release of the heavily anticipated "BioShock 2."