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GTA V ships 52m as Take-Two's annual revenue dips to $1.1 billion

Publisher enjoys one of its "best years ever" according to Strauss Zelnick [UPDATE: sales for NBA, Evolve, & more]

Take-Two Interactive has just announced its fourth-quarter and full-year fiscal results for the period ended March 31, 2015. On a GAAP basis, net revenue grew 54 percent year-over-year to $300.1 million, while net loss was $242.8 million (compared to $30.8 million a year ago). Non-GAAP, net revenue grew 83 percent to $427.7 million and net income increased to $54.3 million (up from $21.5 million a year earlier).

The fourth quarter was helped by Grand Theft Auto V, which now has shipped 52 million copies globally, Grand Theft Auto Online, Evolve, NBA 2K15 and Borderlands: The Handsome Collection. Importantly, non-GAAP net revenue from digitally-delivered content grew 66 percent year-over-year to $202.5 million, Take-Two said. Revenue from "recurrent consumer spending" as Take-Two calls it (virtual currency, downloadable add-on content and online games) also grew 47 percent year-over-year and accounted for 54 percent of digitally-delivered content sales.

Looking at the full year, GAAP net revenue was more than halved, dropping from $2.351 billion in fiscal 2014 to $1.083 billion this year. It's important to note the tough comparison, though, as fiscal 2014 was when Take-Two enjoyed the record-breaking launch of GTA V on consoles. GAAP net loss in fiscal 2015 came to $279.5 million, as compared to GAAP net income of $361.6 million in fiscal 2014. Non-GAAP, sales fell from $2.414 billion to $1.669 billion, while net income dropped from $510.7 million to $219.2 million. Take-Two continues to see improvements in its digital business, as non-GAAP net revenue from digitally-delivered content grew 42 percent year-over-year to a record $616.0 million, the publisher said.

Despite the stark difference between fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2015 (which could sway some to still believe that Take-Two's success depends far too heavily on GTA), management was quite pleased with the recent quarter and full-year performance.

"Our strong fourth quarter revenues and better-than-expected Non-GAAP profits marked an outstanding close to one of our Company's best years ever," said Strauss Zelnick, Chairman and CEO of Take-Two. "During fiscal 2015, we seamlessly launched five triple-A titles for the holiday season led by Grand Theft Auto V and NBA 2K15; added an exciting new franchise with the successful release of Evolve; and achieved record digitally-delivered revenue, including our highest-ever revenues from recurrent consumer spending. Our business generated significant cash flow and, as a result, we ended the fiscal year with $1.1 billion in cash and short-term investments.

"Fiscal 2016 is off to a great start, highlighted by the April launch of Grand Theft Auto V for the PC, which has exceeded our expectations. Throughout the coming year, we will continue to execute our proven strategy of launching a select array of the highest-quality titles, led by new annual releases of NBA 2K and WWE 2K; Battleborn, a groundbreaking new intellectual property from Gearbox Software; and a soon-to-be announced new triple-A title from 2K. We also will continue to deliver innovative offerings designed to promote ongoing engagement with our games and drive recurrent consumer spending. Beyond fiscal 2016, we have a robust development pipeline and our Company is well-positioned to deliver growth and margin expansion over the long-term."

For fiscal 2016, Take-Two provided inital guidance of $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion in non-GAAP net revenues and non-GAAP net income per share of $0.75 to $1.00. Also, along with its fiscal results today, Take-Two announced that its Board of Directors approved an increase to its share repurchase authorization up to an aggregate of 10 million shares of Take-Two's common stock.

Update: On the earnings call this afternoon, Take-Two outlined some sold-in (shipped) figures not in the fiscal report. New IP Evolve has now sold-in 2.5 million, WWE has sold-in approximately 3 million, the NBA 2K franchise has sold-in nearly 7 million, and the Borderlands franchise sold-in 25 million units (with 8 million in fiscal 2015 alone). Take-Two said that for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection sales exceeded expectations with more than 20 percent coming from digital.

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James Brightman


James Brightman has been covering the games industry since 2003 and has been an avid gamer since the days of Atari and Intellivision. He was previously EIC and co-founder of IndustryGamers and spent several years leading GameDaily Biz at AOL prior to that.