Take-Two Q4 and Year End Conference Call Details

The fourth quarter and year end conference call for Take 2 Games was held earlier tonight, which revealed the sales numbers and success of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Take Two was very pleased with the performance of San Andreas, and considered the worldwide launch of San Andreas the “the key driver in the fourth quarter.” “We are incredibly proud at the success of this extraordinary product,” said a spokesperson for Take 2 Games, and thanked the hard work of Rockstar Games and Rockstar North. He also called the release of San Andreas “the biggest product launch in the company’s history, arguably the most successful launch of any video game.”

San Andreas represented 54% of the fourth quarter sales, which totalled $438 million. This means San Andreas made $236.5 million within its first quarter, and “sales of San Andreas were higher than originally forecasted”, primarily because the german language version was completed before schedule.

San Andreas has earned over 30% more revenue than Vice City. Also, according to NPDFunworldSM, San Andreas was the “top selling PlayStation 2 title in the United States in October and November.” Not surprising really. On top of this, San Andreas was the top selling product for the year, with the GTA double pack following second. The GTA franchise represented 34% of revenue for the year.

Lastly I’d like to bring you a question from a shareholder. He was rather critical of Take 2’s decision not to reveal exact sales numbers for San Andreas, and I’d like to applaud his honesty, since I agree with him.

Hi guys, I’d like to invite you to be a bit more shareholder friendly and point out that in the aftermarket your stock is trading at a 50% discount to Electronic Arts. You’ve just told us you have very strong cash flow and it sounds to us like the SCC issue is imminently to be settled, so that would lead me to believe that you would consider a stock buyback programme.

Could you respond to that, and also I’d like to invite you guys to rethink your position on giving out unit estimates or unit ship-in numbers for San Andreas. Each of your competitors seems not to be shy about telling the street what their unit ship-in numbers are, and Microsoft seems to be bragging about how Halo has outsold Grand Theft Auto. I think your shareholders would really like to know how many units you’ve shipped in. Thanks very much.

– Michael Pachter, Wedbush Morgan Securities

To which Take Two answered “with regard to the unit shipments Michael: we hear your point, we’ll take it under advisement, and we’ll consider it going forward” and repeated their quotes about San Andreas selling 30% higher than Vice City, and referred to NPD data.

Detailed financial results are available in the press release.