'Grand Theft Auto' pays at Take-Two

CEO: Game sales 'propped up the U.K. economy'

Everyone should already know that "Grand Theft Auto IV" is a hot-selling video game, but Take-Two Interactive Software CEO Ben Feder said Thursday that April sales of the product "single-handedly propped up the U.K. economy."

Feder's acclamations came as the company announced that it swung to a $98.2 million fiscal second-quarter profit, after charges, on revenue that more than doubled to $539.8 million.

In the same quarter a year ago, Take-Two lost $51.2 million on $205.4 million revenue.

The strong results were driven by the sale of 11 million "GTA IV" units worldwide.

Feder also said that "GTA IV" set a Guinness world record for the most sales of an entertainment product in a 24-hour period.

All that boasting about "GTA IV" was to be expected as Take-Two has been spurning an offer from Electronic Arts to acquire it for $2 billion on the grounds that its "GTA" franchise is being undervalued.

Chairman Strauss Zelnick addressed the buyout offer during a conference call with analysts, reiterating his months-long stance that EA's offer is too low and that Take-Two happily will consider higher bids.

Zelnick said Thursday that executives are engaged in "formal discussions with a number of interested parties."

Shares of Take-Two were up 1.2% to $27.65 on Thursday, 7.4% above EA's bid of $25.74 per share.
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