THQ confirms guidance

Despite slumping industry sales, company says it's going to meet financial targets for the holidays.

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The holidays haven't been very happy for the gaming industry so far. Fourth-quarter sales this year have been trailing well behind the numbers posted in 2004, Midway closed up two studios and laid off almost 100 people, and Electronic Arts and Activision have both warned that their quarterly earnings would fall short of estimates.

However, it hasn't all been bad news. THQ today announced that it was ontrack to meet expectations for its holiday quarter. Wall Street rewarded that news with a subsequent (if temporary) jump in the company's stock price.

"Our WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006 title is performing very well on both PlayStation 2 and the PSP PlayStation Portable system," THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell said in a statement. "In addition, new titles targeted to kids and family such as The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer, our Nickelodeon products, Bratz Rock Angelz, and our catalog of value-priced games are on track."

THQ shares traded hands at almost twice their average volume today, and the stock closed up more than 5 percent to $23.65. However, a good portion of those gains were lost in after-hours trading, with the stock changing hands at $22.80 as of press time.

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