Shares of most video game companies inched higher Wednesday ahead of market researcher NPD Group's monthly retail sales report, scheduled for Thursday. Electronic Arts Inc. shares gained $1.48, or 3.4 percent, to $45.69 in early afternoon trading. The stock has traded between $41.17 and $61.62 in the past 52 weeks.
The company said late Tuesday its "Madden NFL 09" game pulled in $133.5 million in retail revenue August, up 6 percent over last year's game. The latest installment of the popular football franchise launched Aug. 12.
"We believe 'Madden' growth partially removes risk from 2Q," wrote Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Shawn Milne in a note to investors. But he added that the "key to driving faster growth and operating leverage" remains new intellectual property - such as the upcoming games "Dead Space" and "Mirror's Edge."
Shares of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., which has signed a nondisclosure agreement with EA over a potential buyout, slid 12 cents to $21.65.