It was just last week that we spoke with THQ’s Executive Vice President of Core Games Danny Bilson about the publisher’s upcoming titles and current financial struggles. This morning has seen a one-two punch of news, first with the quiet announcement of a Darksiders II delay via the official Facebook page, followed by a far more significant announcement of success during the critical 2012 Fourth Quarter.
The company has outperformed expectations, with sales between $160 million and $170 million an outlook of $130 million – $150 million.
Strong performance from Saints Row: The Third, with over 4 million copies shipped, and related DLC purchases have driven the success. Strong critical reception of UFC Undisputed 3 has played a role, also. The brightest point in the release was that THQ will be carrying cash and cash equivalents of over $76 million into the new fiscal year. This is a whopping three times what was expected and shows strong signs of a turnaround for the publisher.
After the disastrous uDraw failure, and a dramatic shift out of the kids gaming market, THQ has been driving towards development of original intellectual properties. Weaning itself from licenses and more casual and youth experiences takes time and resources, but ultimately pays off in the end with fan loyalty and memorable titles.
While THQ isn’t completely out of the woods yet, its stock is currently trading at $.62 (up from a close of $.45 yesterday). In order to avoid delisting, stock must trade above $.99 for 10 consecutive business days before the July 23 deadline. One way to make this happen is to call for a reverse stock split. With prices trading where they are right now, this would only need to be a 2:1 reverse.
While it would be unreasonable to expect day-over-day increases of this magnetite, news of an overwhelmingly positive fourth quarter could be the exact thing THQ needed.