Shares of #Take-Two $TTWO rose in Tuesday trading, rebounding from Monday’s after-hours dip following the delay of the video game maker’s highly-anticipated #RedDeadRedemption 2 to Spring of next year.
In addition, the company reported better-than-expected quarterly results and provided guidance for the first quarter and fiscal 2018.
RED DEAD DELAY: In a blog post Monday afternoon, Take-Two subsidiary Rockstar Games said that Red Dead Redemption 2 is now set to launch in Spring 2018 on #Sony’s #SNE #PlayStation 4 and #Microsoft’s $MSFT #Xbox One.
The company originally said the game, which is a sequel to 2010’s Red Dead Redemption, would be available in Fall of 2017. Commenting on the matter, Rockstar said it is “very sorry for any disappointment this delay causes,” yet noted that they would rather deliver a game “only when it is ready.”
Following the news, shares of Take-Two fell as much as 10% in after-hours trading. Later on, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick noted in the company’s quarterly earnings release that Red Dead Redemption 2 will be the first game from Rockstar to be “created from the ground up” for the latest generation of consoles, and some additional time is necessary to “ensure that they deliver the best experience possible.”
EARNINGS/GUIDANCE: Take-Two Interactive TTWO reported fourth quarter GAAP earnings per share of 89c on net revenue of $571.6M. Analysts were expecting the company to report EPS of 57c on revenue of $355.37M.
Looking ahead, the company said it expects Q1 EPS in the range of 65c-75c on revenue of $390M-$440M. Take-Two also said it sees Q1 net sales of $240M-$290M, compared to analysts’ estimates for $254.5M.
In addition, the video game maker said it sees FY18 EPS of $4.35-$4.65 on revenue of $1.95B-$2.05B and net sales of $1.42B-$1.52B. Analysts expect the company to report FY18 revenue of $2.24B.
Analyst Comments: Prior to Take-Two’s earnings report, #Jefferies analyst Timothy O’Shea said that the selloff related to the Red Dead Redemption 2 delay should be viewed as a buying opportunity. #O’Shea attributed the roughly 10% slip in shares post-market to Rockstar’s “infamous perfectionism” and doesn’t believe that it changes the overall unit sales potential for the title.
The analyst also noted that Take-Two’s shares traded down 6% when Rockstar announced in January 2013 that the release Grand Theft Auto V would be moved by six months, adding that GTA V has sold over 75M units and the stock has “more than quintupled” since that time. O’Shea maintained a Buy Rating on Take-Two with a $65 price target.
Meanwhile, #Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson kept an Overweight rating and $77 price target on the stock, saying that he doesn’t expect the RDR2 release change to affect overall sales of the game or average multi-year Take-Two EPS. While Olson noted that some may suggest the delay comes with two potential risks, namely a worse launch window as well as real issues with the game, he said that a spring release should not “significantly” impact overall sales of the game and that he believes Rockstar would have left the timing open-ended if in fact there were major development issues. PRICE ACTION: In afternoon trading, Take-Two (TTWO) advanced about 5% to $72.48.
OTHERS TO WATCH: Shares of the game maker’s competitors were also higher, with Activision Blizzard $ATVI up 1% and Electronic Arts $EA up 0.5% in the afternoon.
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