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Take-Two posts quarterly loss, issues warning

The video game publisher posts a wider quarterly loss and forecasts a sharp drop in sales revenue for the current quarter.

Video game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software posted a wider quarterly loss on Wednesday and forecast a sharp drop in sales revenue for the current quarter.

For the quarter that ended October 31, the company best known for its Grand Theft Auto franchise reported a net loss of $15 million, or 20 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $7.1 million, or 10 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue increased 11 percent to $323.4 million on the sales strength of its Midnight Club: Los Angeles, NBA 2K9, and Grand Theft Auto IV titles.

The company predicted a fiscal first-quarter loss of 70 cents to 85 cents a share on revenue of $175 million to $225 million, falling short of Wall Street estimates of $310.75 million.

Executives blamed weak consumer spending amid a global economic downturn. Take-Two Chairman Strauss Zelnick said the company had "witnessed significant softness" in retail sales and noted the 2009 forecast factors in the recent bankruptcy of electronics retailer Circuit City.

Take-Two fended off a $2 billion hostile acquisition bid earlier this year by rival game publisher Electronic Arts.

Shares of Take-Two fell to $9.56 in after-hours trading.