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Earnings: Take-Two Swings To Loss; Adds Another (Downloadable) GTA Sequel

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imageHow important is the Grand Theft Auto franchise to Take-Two (NSDQ: TTWO) Interactive? Important enough that the publisher can’t stay in the black without it. Take-Two swung to a $10.1 million loss for its fiscal Q209; a loss of $0.13 per share. That’s in contrast to a profit of $98.2 million for the same quarter last year — which happened to include the launch of GTA:IV. The news sent shares down by about 2 percent in after-hours trading.

It’s tough being a one-trick pony: Last year’s record-breaking GTA:IV sales also skewed Take-Two’s revenues this year: Q209 revs came in at $229.7 million, down 57 percent from $539.8 million in Q208. The disparity underscores how vital it is for Take-Two to continue to try to diversify its games lineup with acclaimed titles like BioShock.

Keep the downloads coming: The GTA:IV expansion pack The Lost and Damned led Take-Two’s Q2 sales; the company didn’t break out the numbers, but analysts have estimated that it earned at least $18 million within two weeks of its release. It was Take-Two’s first foray into downloadable content — and it was successful enough that the publisher is prepping another GTA spinoff for Xbox Live: The Ballad of Gay Tony, slated for a Q4 release.

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Photo Credit: Geoff Keighley