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THQ earnings forecast improves due to Saints Row 3 sales, DLC


Are you ready for this? It's ... good news about THQ's finances. The company is revising its earnings forecast for the quarter ending March 31, now reporting expectations of "non-GAAP net sales of $160 million to $170 million, which is above the company's previous outlook of non-GAAP net sales in the range of $130 million to $150 million." Non-GAAP earnings include "adjustments" or other non-recurring costs that aren't included in the standardized GAAP numbers companies are required to report.

Unfortunately, there's still some less-than-stellar news: The report will also have to account for "approximately $30 million to $50 million" in non-cash software development charges, "resulting from decisions made related to the company's previously-announced product strategy." A THQ representative tells Joystiq that these kinds of "charges" actually reflect a shift in expected performance of certain software – including the no-longer MMO Warhammer 40K Dark Millennium.

As for why the company is doing less poorly than expected, THQ cites three factors: Saints Row the Third, of which THQ has now shipped over four million units; "higher-than-expected digital sales" ... mostly of Saints Row DLC; and "slightly" better sales of UFC Undisputed 3 than predicted.

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