THE BUZZ: THQ’s shares have risen sharply today as the company expects to announce better fiscal fourth-quarter (January – March) figures than previously estimated.
The company is now expected to announce fourth-quarter sales of $160-170 million, considerably higher than the previous forecast of between $130-150 million. THQ will now only see a loss of 10-20 cents per share instead of the 35-50 cents that was expected.
THQ said that several factors have influenced these improved figures. Saints Row: The Third was the major catalyst, shipping over 4 million copies and enjoying better than expected digital sales. Slightly higher than expected sales of UFC Undisputed 3 also helped the publisher.
Earnings of $76 million are expected to be reported for the quarter, three times higher than previously estimated, thanks to higher sales, particularly with DLC. THQ is set to publish its full financial results May 15.
Shares are currently trading at around 65 cents, which is an increase of 45 percent.
EGM’s TAKE: This is great news for THQ and its investors. The company was struggling at the beginning of the year, had to cut jobs and was even threatened with a stock exchange de-listing. Saints Row was a major success story for them and sold a lot more copies than expected, which was deserved considering how good it was, and the lack of open-world sandbox titles at the time. Hopefully the publisher can build on this success with its future titles and this allows the company to a move out of the slump it’s been stuck in.