Take-Two beats quarterly sales and profit estimates; shares up

FILE PHOTO: A promotion for the computer game "Grand Theft Auto Five" is show in a Game Stop gaming story in Encinitas, California September 17, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) -Take-Two Interactive Software Inc reported a quarterly profit and sales on Tuesday that beat analysts' estimates, as stay-at-home gamers during the pandemic boosted demand for the video game maker's popular franchises such as "Grand Theft Auto" and "NBA 2K".

The company's shares were up nearly 3% in extended trading.

Take-Two, however, forecast full-year adjusted revenue below analysts' estimates, as rapid vaccinations and easing of pandemic-related curbs is likely to encourage people to venture outdoors for entertainment and social interaction, leaving their consoles behind.

"As the world returns to a new normal, we expect a moderation of the trends that benefited our industry over the past year," said Chief Executive Officer Strauss Zelnick on an earnings call.

However, he anticipates that the overall addressable market for the industry will be notably larger going forward than it was pre-pandemic.

Video gaming companies across the world have profited from a pandemic-induced boost in consumer spending, which has risen nearly 30% on video games in the United States between January and March, compared to the same period a year ago, according to data from research firm NPD.

The company says the largest contributors to its quarterly net bookings were its popular titles "NBA 2K21"and "Grand Theft Auto Online".

On an adjusted basis, the game publisher's revenue stood at $784.5 million, in the fourth quarter ended March 31, beating analysts' average estimate of $664 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Excluding items, the company earned 94 cents per share during the quarter, above Wall Street's estimates of 67 cents per share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

The company sees full-year adjusted sales between $3.2 billion and $3.3 billion, while analysts expect $3.51 billion.

(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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