clock menu more-arrow no yes

Take-Two Beats on Profit, Misses on Sales, With Full-Year Profit of $220 Million

Big numbers in digital, but trying to repeat those is the wrong direction, says CEO Strauss Zelnick.

Rockstar Games / Grand Theft Auto V

Game publisher Take-Two Interactive today beat Wall Street’s profit expectations for the quarter ended in March, with earnings per share of 49 cents versus an expected 27 cents, but turned in sales of $428 million, below the Street consensus of $459 million, which was at the high end of the previous quarter’s guidance. The company made $54 million in profit in the most recent quarter.

In fiscal 2015, Take-Two made $1.7 billion, ahead of its year-old forecast of $1.35 billion to $1.45 billion, but still well below 2014’s $2.4 billion in sales, as expected. Profit came in at $220 million, or $1.98 per share.

In an interview with Re/code, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said 37 percent of the company’s full-year sales came from digital channels, and half of that was “recurrent” spending — meaning purchases of things like virtual currency in Grand Theft Auto V, rather than full-game downloads. Some $202 million, or 47 percent, of total sales in the most recent quarter were digital.

However, Zelnick demurred on the idea that future games should try to imitate the specific design choices of GTA Online, which was the company’s biggest digital driver.

“I think this whole business of being data-driven in entertainment is a bit misguided,” he said. “Data is interesting in retrospective,” but Take-Two doesn’t encourage its staff to think of numbers first, he added.

In the current quarter, ending in June, Take-Two said it expects earnings per share of 25 cents to 35 cents on sales of $325 million to $350 million. However, it cautioned that there will be fewer new releases this year than last, and forecasted full-year earnings of 75 cents to $1 on sales of $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion — below analysts’ pre-bell consensus.

Take-Two shares were trading down toward the end of the day, but bounced up 5 percent after hours.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

Sign up for the newsletter The Weeds

Understand how policy impacts people. Delivered Fridays.