THQ posts Q4 loss

Publisher posts lower quarterly sales; full year sees higher revenues but diminished profits; stock rises.

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Last month, THQ revised its expectations for its fourth fiscal quarter, telling investors to expect higher revenues and a net loss when the publisher issued its report for the three months ended March 31. The company reported its final figures for the quarter today, and the revenues weren't quite as large as expected, but neither were the losses.

THQ had projected $150 in revenues and a net loss of $0.13 a share, but wound up reporting revenues of $148 million and a loss of $0.12 a share, or nearly $8 million. Both of those numbers are worse than the company's performance for the same period of time in 2005, when it racked up $171 million in sales and more than $10 million in profit. The publisher cited The Outfit for the Xbox 360 and WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006 as a pair of its best sellers for the quarter.

For the full fiscal year, the publisher performed a little better. Revenues were up to $807 million from the previous year's $757 million. Despite the fourth-quarter loss, THQ pulled in a profit for the year, posting a $34 million gain. The publisher is still feeling the effects of the industrywide slump, however, as evidenced by the sharp drop-off from its previous year's profit of $63 million.

Investors were apparently pleased with the figures, however. As of press time, THQ stock was trading up more than 4 percent to $25.45 a share. Electronic Arts and Activision also released their quarterly earnings reports this week, with the former's stock taking a drubbing and the latter's shares trading up sharply after Wedbush Morgan Securities upgraded the company to a "strong buy" from a "buy."

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