Shares of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. inched higher after the NPD Group's latest video game sales report showed a strong debut for "Red Dead Redemption."
THE SPARK: Take-Two has long relied on its wildly popular "Grand Theft Auto" series for its profits. But "Red Dead Redemption" received high marks from critics and sold more copies in a month than its prior installment, which came out in 2004, did in its entire lifetime. The success of "Red Dead" may signal that Take-Two is able to get beyond "GTA" as a source of profit.
THE BIG PICTURE: The video game industry has gotten off to a clunky start in 2010 and is looking to the second half of the year to turn things around. New gaming technologies — like 3-D and motion controllers — from Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, along with blockbuster game launches, should help things.
THE ANALYSIS: Though "Red Dead" was the top-selling game in May, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter said it came in below expectations. The game sold 1.5 million units; Pachter was expecting 1.8 million.
SHARE ACTION: Shares of New York-based Take-Two rose 20 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $9.05 in late morning trading. The stock has traded in the 52-week range of $7 and $12.47.
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