Activision Q3 profit seen up 78%

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Video game publisher Activision Inc. said Thursday that based on preliminary results, its third-quarter earnings per share increased 78% from last year.

The company also said it may have to record additional stock-based compensation expenses for the 15-year period starting in 1992, due to stock option grants that were erroneously accounted for.

Activision is one of nearly 200 companies that have launched internal reviews or are under scrutiny by federal regulators for possibly backdating stock option grants,

For the third-quarter, Activision expects to post earnings of 41 cents per share, up from 23 cents per share, last year. Excluding stock-based compensation, the company expects to post 42 cents per share.

Revenue for the quarter is estimated at $822.8 million, up from $816.2 million last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected the company to post earnings of 28 cents per share on $618.2 million in revenue.

Activision said the significant improvement in quarterly profit was driven mainly by four key games -- "Call of Duty 3," "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance," "Tony Hawk's Project 8" and "Guitar Hero II."
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