Despite the lowered guidance in Majesco's Q3 earnings report
, Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter remains guardedly optimistic on the publisher's story, saying its move away from AAA titles to a handheld niche is a good move both in seeking profitability and in the long term.
"While the reduced guidance for the fourth quarter was a disappointment," said Pachter, "we believe the company’s turnaround is progressing. Sales strength from Cooking Mama
continues, and the company disclosed that it is pricing Cooking Mama 2: Dinner with Friends
at a price of $29.99 (vs. $19.99 for the original). The release of the title is slated for 1Q:08, which should improve profitability for the remainder of the year."
"We think that Majesco has identified a casual game niche for the DS and Wii, and that the company has created a first mover advantage by filling this niche," he continued. "We remain optimistic that the company can produce budget console and handheld games profitably as it realigns its cost structure, although investors will likely have to wait another quarter or two for the company’s progress on this front to become more transparent."
What's more, Pachter says this move toward the casual niche will improve not just the company's fortunes, but "also reflects a thoughtful approach to positioning the company for future growth."
"Now that Majesco has eliminated almost all development and marketing of premium frontline titles," he says. "it is seeking to expand its portfolio of casual, budget titles without compromising quality. Revenues appear to have stabilized (excluding frontline titles), and we believe that 4Q:07 will likely be an inflection point for the company."
Finally, Pachter cautions that "although Majesco appears to have resolved its most significant challenge—liquidity—for now, we acknowledge that other headwinds still exist. There has been no update to the company’s CEO search (in August, Jesse Sutton was named interim CEO), and litigation has not formally been settled."
But, he reiterates, "we continue to believe that Majesco can be profitable at $65 – 70 million in annual revenues, and that it is taking the appropriate steps to reach that threshold."