Take-Two Interactive shares get supercharged as 'Grand Theft Auto' keeps up the heat

Technology Associated Press

Take-Two Interactive Software's shares jumped Tuesday, as analysts saw staying power in the most recent version of the video game publisher's "Grand Theft Auto" series.

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The New York company launched a personal computer version of "Grand Theft Auto V" during its fiscal fourth quarter, and that exceeded expectations while the online portion of the game also did well, Stifel analyst Drew E. Crum said in a research note.

Created by Take-Two's Rockstar Games, "Grand Theft Auto" is one of the world's most popular video game franchises. helped Take-Two top analyst expectations for its fiscal fourth quarter. The game company released its results Monday after markets closed.

"Grand Theft Auto V" originally came out for console gaming systems in 2013, but new versions for PC and next-generation consoles have brought in more sales. It

The company, which also makes "NBA 2K15" and other games, said its earnings adjusted for non-recurring costs totaled 49 cents per share in the quarter that ended March 31.

That beat average analyst expectations of 26 cents per share, according to Zacks Investment Research.

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The New York company also offered an initial forecast for adjusted fiscal 2016 earnings of 75 cents to $1 per share.

Analysts forecast $1.09 per share, on average, according to FactSet.

Rockstar has no big product release scheduled for fiscal 2016, and that remains a concern for Pacific Crest Securities analyst Evan Wilson. He said in a research note that he thinks that sets the company up for no material appreciation in the next few quarters.

Shares of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. climbed $4.22, or 17 percent, to $28.42 in afternoon trading. That price had tumbled about 14 percent so far this year, as of Monday's close.