THQ earnings to hit $1 billion

Pixar, Nickelodeon, Saints Row, and WWE SmackDown! publisher expects to set new milestone in net sales for fiscal-year 2007.

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California-based publisher THQ has had a good year, which it attributes to stronger-than-expected sales of games including WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2007, Cars, and Avatar: The Last Airbender.

The company behind the surprise Xbox 360 hit Saints Row has amended its forecasts for fiscal-year 2007 and expects to reach a cool $1 billion in net sales. Third-quarter net sales were also up, reaching a figure $175 million higher than the previous estimates of $425 million.

President and CEO of THQ, Brian Farrell, commented, "THQ's platform strategy served us very well this holiday...This performance combined with our successful original property launches exclusively for next-generation systems have positioned THQ to achieve the significant milestone of $1 billion in sales for fiscal 2007."

The company also said that it would be delaying the release of an unannounced PlayStation 3 title to the first quarter of fiscal-year 2008.

[UPDATE] Pacific Crest Securities analyst Evan Wilson today sent out a note to investors with his take on the THQ earnings revision, including speculation on the mystery PS3 game. Wilson said he believes the game to be a new version of Saints Row, with the delay meant to either manage the company's flow of games into the market or improve the overall quality of the game.

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