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Pachter predicts delay for GTA IV

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has suggested that Take-Two may choose to delay the release of Grand Theft Auto IV in a bid to boost its financial results for 2008.

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has suggested that Take-Two may choose to delay the release of Grand Theft Auto IV in a bid to boost its financial results for 2008.

GTA IV is currently due to launch on October 16, just weeks before the end of the fiscal year. But, Pachter said, "We believe that it is possible that the company will choose to "throw in the towel" on financial year 07 by shifting the release date for Grand Theft Auto IV by a few weeks, increasing the losses incurred this year and improving the company‚s prospects for financial year 08."

He added that a two week delay would provide a "reasonable gap" between the launch of GTA IV and Halo 3, which "would actually help sales of both games". Plus, Pachter said, releasing the USD 90 Collector's Edition first and the standalone version some weeks later would allow Take-Two to maximise revenues.

Pachter's comments come as Take-Two prepares to release its Q2 financial results, due on June 11. He said the company's new management team is likely to introduce cost cutting moves as soon as practicable, "resulting in studio closures and charge-offs for games in development".

"Shareholders apparently believe that new management has the 'magic bullet' required to reverse the company‚s recent history of consistent quarterly losses," Pachter continued.

"Although we are impressed with new management and believe that they will ultimately succeed in turning Take-Two‚s fortunes around, we think that the turnaround will take more than a year to complete."

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