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THQ’s Revs Beat Expectations; Launches New Digital Distribution Store

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Game publisher *THQ* swung to a $5.6 million loss this quarter (its fiscal Q2) — after posting a profit three months ago — but it’s still a far cry from this time last year, when the company was just starting to lay off staff and close studios to grapple with triple-digit losses.

THQ (NSDQ: THQI) soundly trumped the Street’s forecast of a 47-cent per share loss on $94 million in revenue; strong sales of games like UFC 2009 Undisputed led to just an 8-cent per share loss on $101.8 million in revenue. Seemingly pleased with the results of the company’s year-long turnaround, investors sent shares up by more than 14 percent in after-hours trading. In a research note, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter said that the firm thought THQ’s prospects were “much improved.”

3Q 2008 3Q 2009 Estimate
EPS -$1.73 -$0.08 -$0.47
Net Income -$115.3M -$5.6M
Revenue $164.8M $101.3M $94M

Going digital: THQ launched an online store today with e-commerce provider *Digital River*; gamers can download PC versions of select games, with a full line-up slated for release in the coming months. The company also launched two online games this quarter, Dragonica Online in North America and Company of Heroes Online in China, with Shanda (NSDQ: SNDA) Games; it will partner with Windysoft to bring Company of Heroes Online to South Korea.

Guidance: Though the company expects its 2009 holiday season (fiscal third quarter) sales to be about 5 to 10 percent below where they were last year, THQ says its still on track to post higher full year sales overall, as well as achieve profitability. Release | Webcast