Are sales of GTA IV, Take-Two Interactive's (TTWO) much-hyped game, not living up to expectations?
The game went on sale last Tuesday, amid a lot of breathless hype. But the market doesn't share the enthusiasm shared by gamers and game reviewers: TTWO is trading at just below $26. That's down about 1% for the day, and down 3% from where it opened Tuesday morning.
Take-Two could cheer investors up by releasing sales stats -- last fall, Microsoft (MSFT) was handing out sales data within two days of Halo 3's release -- but so far management has been mum.
Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter can't figure it out. "No sales numbers yet, again baffling," he tells us via e-mail: "One would think Take-Two wants to brag, but apparently that's not the case."
So what's happening? You got us. The only thing we do know: Take-Two management doesn't just need to see good numbers out of GTA -- it needs to see fantastic numbers. Or else it's going to have a very hard time defending its decision to turn down Electronic Arts' (ERTS) $2 billion offer.