November 7, 2017 / 9:19 PM / a year ago

Game publisher Take-Two raises full-year profit forecast

Nov 7 (Reuters) - Take-Two Interactive Software Inc raised its full-year adjusted revenue forecast and its second-quarter revenue topped estimates, driven by the new version of its basketball franchise game and the continued success of "Grand Theft Auto V".

The company also forecast holiday-quarter revenue of $610 million to $660 million, beating analysts average estimate of $546 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The strong forecast is in contrast to that of its bigger rivals Activision Blizzard Inc and Electronic Arts , whose forecasts missed Street estimates for the all-important holiday quarter.

Take-Two reported adjusted revenue of $577 million for the second quarter ended Sept.30, beating analysts' estimate of $511.3 million, boosted by strong demand for the iconic "Grand Theft Auto V".

The game has been one of the best-selling, powering Take-Two's revenue since its launch in 2013 by the company's Rockstar Games studio.

The company also benefited from higher downloads of its games during the quarter, with digitally-delivered net revenue increasing 31 percent to $302.9 million.

Take-Two released the new version of "NBA 2K18", its basketball simulation game, in September, which also contributed to the increase in revenue.

The game, with only one month of sales, has become the best-selling sports game this year, according to research firm NPD.

However, the company posted a net loss of $2.7 million, or 3 cents per share, for the latest quarter, compared with a profit of $36.4 million, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier. That was in part due to reorganization expenses.

Take-Two increased its adjusted revenue forecast to $1.93 billion to $2.03 billion for the year ending March 31, from $1.65 billion to $1.75 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting $1.76 billion.

The company also expects record net bookings for next year, its fiscal 2019, boosted by its highly anticipated Western action-adventure "Red Dead Redemption 2."

In May, the company delayed the launch of "Red Dead" to spring 2018 from fall 2017, which had hurt its initial full-year forecast. (Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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