THQ reports third-quarter earnings

Sales up 37 percent for third quarter of fiscal year 2005; company forecasts year-end net sales of $750 million on strength of The Incredibles and SpongeBob SquarePants.

According to its earnings report released today, game publisher THQ saw net sales of $400.3 million in the third quarter of its 2005 fiscal year, which ended on December 31, 2004. That number is up from $293.1 million in the third quarter of its FY2004, a 37 percent increase. THQ's third-quarter net revenues were $62.9 million, up from $30.4 million in 2004.

For the nine months ending December 31, 2004, net sales grew 13 percent to $584.8 million, up from $517.7 million for the same period a year ago. Its net revenues were also up for the nine-month period to $52.7 million. The company forecasted net sales of approximately $165 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2005 and net sales of approximately $750 million for the full year ending March 31. Net sales were $680 million in fiscal year 2004.

THQ published a number of popular games during fiscal year 2005. It shipped more than 4 million units of The Incredibles; 2 million units of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw, and Finding Nemo; and 1 million units of SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom.

"Our performance during the holiday quarter far surpassed our original expectations in all major markets," said Brian Farrell, president and CEO of THQ. "The combination of sound strategic positioning for the holidays and solid execution in a highly competitive market drove our exceptionally strong results for the period."

THQ Inc. (THQI) shares were up 2.74 percent today. Its stocks closed 61 cents higher at $22.86.

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