THQ Q2 lives up to lowered expectations

Ratatouille serves up sales as Stuntman, Juiced 2 sputter to slow starts at retail.

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Last month, THQ warned investors that it would be falling short of its projected revenue figures, due partly to disappointing sales of Stuntman: Ignition and Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights, and partly due to delays for anticipated upcoming games like Destroy All Humans!: Path of the Furon and Frontlines: Fuel of War. Today the company reported its earnings for the second quarter of its fiscal 2008 (the three months ended September 30), and the results reflected that diminished outlook.

For the full quarter, THQ reported revenues of $229.3 million, down from $240.2 million for the same period last year. Likewise, the three months yielded a net loss for the company of $7 million, whereas THQ's previous second quarter turned an $11.6 million net profit.

The publisher's best-selling title for the quarter was Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille (with more than 2 million shipped worldwide), followed by the underperforming Stuntman and Juiced titles (1 million shipped each). Last year, THQ's second quarter was fueled by the international releases for the Disney/Pixar's Cars and a pair of original intellectual properties: Saints Row for the Xbox 360 and the PC real-time strategy game Company of Heroes.

In a statement issued alongside the numbers, THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell expressed disappointment in the company's performance, but still expected the company to show full-year revenue growth for the 13th straight fiscal year. A holiday lineup featuring WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2008 and Cars Mater-National will have to make up for THQ's sluggish first half, during which the company's revenue totaled $333.8 million, down from the previous year's $379 million first half. The company also recently released the action adventure Conan, inspired by the classic fantasy novels.

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