Activision posts Q1 profit, raises forecast

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Activision Inc. on Thursday posted a quarterly profit after a year-ago loss and raised its full-year earnings forecast, as hit titles like "Guitar Hero II" boosted the video game publisher.

Activision, the second-largest U.S. video game publisher by annual sales, forecast net profit of 51 cents per share for its 2008 fiscal year, up from the 45 cents it expected earlier.

Revenue was seen growing to $1.87 billion, up from the $1.8 billion forecast earlier.

Wall Street had expected net profit of 51 cents on revenue of $1.86 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

Net income for Activision's fiscal first quarter was $27.8 million, or 9 cents per share, compared with a loss of $18.3 million, or 7 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items such as stock-based compensation, profit was $32.8 million, or 11 cents per share, beating the 8 cents expected by analysts.

Revenue was $495.5 million, up 163% from $188.1 million a year earlier and topping the $451.4 million expected by analysts.

Activision said it expected a net loss for its current,

second quarter of 4 cents per share on revenue of $250 million.

The average analyst forecast on Reuters Estimates was for a net loss of 5 cents per share on revenue of $252 million.

Activision shares rose 2.2% to $18.70 in extended trading after closing at $18.30 on Nasdaq, up 5%. Over the past year, it has risen 49%, compared to a rise of 3% for industry leader Electronic Arts Inc.
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