Take-Two Shares Fall With Tepid Forecast, Delay of Games
(Bloomberg) -- Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., the video-game maker behind Grand Theft Auto, fell as much as 5.5% in extended trading after saying key titles will be delayed and reiterating its guidance for the current fiscal year.
The game business is showing signs of weakness after a surge of play during the early phases of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. Recurring consumer spending fell 25% in the first quarter, Take-Two said Monday, though that was better than an anticipated 30% decline.
Take-Two is delaying some games, with “two of our immersive core titles shifting to later in fiscal 2022 than our prior guidance had contemplated.” New York-based Take-Two also described fiscal 2022 as “a year of investments,” marked by recent acquisitions.
Shares of game company fell as low as $163.61 in extended trading before paring the loss to $167.08. They were down 17% for the year through Monday’s close.
Revenue for the current, second quarter will be $815 million to $865 million on an adjusted basis, Take-Two said. That’s shy of the $868.3 million average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company projects profit of $1.20 to $1.30 a share, excluding items, compared with estimates of $1.24.
The guidance for the period is a result of the game delays, which the company didn’t identify. “This is really just seeking polish” for those titles, Chief Executive Officer Strauss Zelnick said in an interview.
For the full year, Take-Two reiterated its sales forecast of $3.2 billion to $3.3 billion, a decline from fiscal 2021, and profit of $3.75 to $4 a share. Those are both below analysts’ estimates.
First-quarter adjusted revenue of $711.4 million beat the $684.3 million average of analysts’ estimates. Adjusted earnings of $1.01 a share in the quarter ended June 30 exceeded expectations of 90 cents.
Following an upheaval at rival Activision Blizzard Inc., Take-Two executives fielded several questions during an earnings call Monday on how the company is going to beef up its inclusion and diversity efforts.
Activision was sued by a California state agency over allegations of sexual harassment and assault, as well as a culture in which women faced unequal pay and retaliation. That led to a walkout at one Activision office and a memo from its CEO that the company has been “tone deaf.”
“We will not tolerate harassment,” Take-Two’s Zelnick said on the call. The company said it has hired additional staffers to strengthen its inclusion and equality programs.
“We can always do better,” he said. The company also said its turnover rate is half the industry average.
Activision reports financial results on earnings Tuesday, followed by Electronic Arts Inc. on Aug. 4.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.