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THQ beats Q1 guidance, but STALKER slips again

Publisher THQ has announced its financial results for the first quarter of its 2006 fiscal year, which came to a close on June 30th, revealing a $4 million loss which is significantly lower than was expected by the financial markets.

Publisher THQ has announced its financial results for the first quarter of its 2006 fiscal year, which came to a close on June 30th, revealing a $4 million loss which is significantly lower than was expected by the financial markets.

The loss equates to an EPS of ($0.10), which is far better than the ($0.15) expected by both Wall Street and by the firm's own predictions - while revenues stood at $158 million, much better than the expected $135-$140 million figure.

The boost in revenues is largely down to the success of Juiced and Destroy All Humans, both of which have done very well in both North America and Europe, helping the company to grow revenues to that $158 million figure from just $88.2 million in the same quarter last year.

However, even though the firm beat expectations during the quarter, the overall picture is slightly tougher; that $4 million loss is actually higher than the $3.9 million loss in the first quarter of FY2005, and comes as costs and expenses rocketed from around $95 million to $165.8 million.

Along with the financial figures, THQ also issued guidance for the rest of the year which was interpreted as fairly conservative by most analysts - with the majority expecting the company to post EPS of $1.00 for the full year, with a consensus of around $750 million in revenues.

One game that won't be contributing to that bottom line, however, is STALKER - the GSC Gameworld developed PC first person shooter whose repeated delays have become a standard feature of THQ earning calls, and which has now dropped into fiscal 2007, which begins next April.

"We think that's going to be a ground breaking title when we launch it and we want to make sure there's enough time in the oven for it," according to THQ CEO Brian Farrell. "We want to make sure it has the absolute highest possible game quality."

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Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.