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Troubled THQ's holiday quarter falls below analyst estimates

Troubled THQ's holiday quarter falls below analyst estimates

February 2, 2012 | By Frank Cifaldi

The bad news for THQ investors got worse Thursday when the company reported that its third quarter revenues fell well below analyst consensus.

THQ reported sales of $404.4 million for the period ending December 31, compared to analyst consensus of $417.62 million.

The figure does however fall within THQ's guidance of $382.5 to $412.5 million for the period, an adjustment announced in December after weak sales of its uDraw tablet accessory resulted in layoffs at its kid-focused Play THQ division.

The company reported a loss of $55.9 million, more than three times the $14.9 million it lost during the same period in 2010.

THQ stock was down as much as 28 percent in after hours trading.

As expected, the company places the blame for the quarter's performance on its failed uDraw line of tablet accessories and games, which saw sales well below its internal estimates. Not only has THQ divorced itself from the uDraw line, it has also exited the licensed kid's games business entirely.

In addition to slashing the salary of CEO Brian Farrell, the company also cut 240 jobs in an effort to save face.

The company was recently threatened with a Nasdaq delisting, as well.

On the upside, THQ says its digital revenues for the quarter more than doubled those in the same period a year prior. The company also says that titles Saints Row: The Third and WWE'12 performed well during the quarter, at 3.6 million and 2 million each in the period.

Its future slate of releases include, the Obsidian-developed South Park: The Game, Devil's Third, and Volition's inSANE, developed with film director Guillermo del Toro, in addition to continuations of its existing key franchises.

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