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Take-Two Interactive Software (NSDQ: TTWO) fought off the somewhat hostile advances of EA earlier this year, but the Grand Theft Auto publisher couldn’t fight the tanking economy. The company posted a net loss of $15 million for the end of its fiscal Q4 — more than double the $7.1 million loss from Q407. Revenues were up 10 percent year-over-year, from $292.6 million in Q4 last year, to $323.4 million this year, buoyed by sales of Midnight Club: Los Angeles, Grand Theft Auto IV and other titles. But the game publisher’s forecast for the holiday season (and its Q1 earnings) are what dragged its stock down post earnings:
— Take-Two expects expects Q1 revenue to come in between $175 million and $225 million, and that’s including holiday sales. Analysts were expecting $326.2 million, according to Marketwatch, and the response sent shares down by more than 27 percent to $8.77 — the lowest level in seven years — in early trading. The tumble makes EA’s initial offer of $26 per share seem quite generous in hindsight.