Activision today announced that it expects fourth quarter revenues to be much better than what Wall Street had predicted: $313 million vs. $215 million. If the $313 million number stands, it will represent a 66% increase from last year's Q4 revenue of $188 million.
The numbers are being driven by strong sales of...anyone...anyone...Guitar Hero II, Call of Duty 3, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, and Tony Hawk's Project 8.
Looking forward, they have an impressive summer lineup with games for Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third, and Transformers.
As Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter said, "If you take the same lineup they had last year and add 'Spider-Man', 'Shrek', 'Transformers' and lot more 'Guitar Hero' ... one would think they are going to grow revenues by a lot." This is one time that we agree, Mr. Pachter.
Add in the fact that last year they secured the rights to the James Bond franchise from EA, one of the most storied and popular gaming franchises. There is no word yet on a Bond game, but when it comes out, it'll be HUGE.
The only cloud hanging over Activision at this point is a $67 million charge for stock-based compensation due to the backdating of stock options. Activision, who was under investigation by the SEC, will restate previous earnings numbers at the end of May which reflect their new accounting practices.