GTAV unlikely until 2012 - Analyst

Janco Partners' Mike Hickey bullish on Take-Two, believes next installment in series could sell 16 million copies, generate $750 million.

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Take-Two recently announced it was shifting its fiscal year to end on March 31 in order to better put it in line with other major game publishers. Today, Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey issued an analyst note, which laid out some predictions for the New York-based publisher. Namely, that it will remain profitable even if the next Grand Theft Auto doesn't come out during its next fiscal year.

Don't expect the next GTA until 2012…at the earliest.
Don't expect the next GTA until 2012…at the earliest.

Hickey believes that Take-Two's 2011 fiscal year, which runs from April 1, 2011, until March 31, 2012, will feature two major game highlights: Max Payne 3 and L.A. Noire. He thinks those two games will lead a software lineup--which may also include the long-delayed Duke Nukem Forever--that can make the company profitable in a year without a GTA or a Red Dead game.

When GTAV does come out, "likely" in Take-Two's fiscal 2013 (April 2012-March 2013), Hickey believes it will be yet another blockbuster, selling upward of 16 million copies and generating over $750 million by itself. He predicts that year will also see the release of BioShock Infinite, which he estimates will sell over 4 million copies and $182 million in sales.

One major reason for the high sales expectations is the increased combined PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 installed based in the US, which he believes will be 41 million units by the end of calendar year 2010. That compares to just 14 million in April 2008, when Grand Theft Auto IV originally came out.

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