THQ raises forecasts after stock slump

Troubled publisher THQ has raised its fourth-quarter financial forecasts, telling investors to expect higher revenue and smaller losses, in response to the company's share price hitting a 52-week low yesterday.

The company now expects fourth-quarter revenue to total between $160 million and $170 million, up from the $130-$150 million previously forecast. Loss per share is expected to be between 10¢ and ¢20, down from 35-50¢.

The chief contributor to this modest improvement is Saints Row: The Third. More than four million copies have been shipped since its release in November, and developer Volition's steady flow of DLC has resulted in digital sales exceeding expectations.

THQ says UFC Undisputed 3 has also performed slightly better than it expected. The publisher's MMA fighter launched to favourable reviews, and it topped the UK all-formats software chart in its first week on sale.

The revised forecasts are welcome news for the publisher, though whether it will be enough to boost its share price is another matter entirely. THQ stock slumped to a 52-week low of 45¢ yesterday, but has rallied today, climbing 45 per cent in early trading, its biggest increase in over 20 years.

The publisher has until July 23 to raise its share price above $1 to avoid being delisted from the Nasdaq stock exchange. At the time of writing, it stands at 60¢.

So far this year the company has faced calls for senior management to be fired, and laid off 358 staff – prompting Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick to declare THQ "won't be around in six months."

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