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Paul-Jon McNealy, of American Technology Research, yesterday raised his rating on video game publisher THQ (THQI) to Buy from Neutral. He also raised his price target on the stock to $41 from $32.50.

McNealy asserts that investors are becoming interested in the video game sector again, with the launch of the Sony (SNE) Playstation 3 in Europe later this month and a slate of high profile games coming this summer and fall.

“We feel more confident in THQI’s line-up for FY 08 and prospects for continued growth,” he wrote in a research note. “THQI has delivered better than any other publisher over the past 18 months and we believe can continue to do so over the next 6-12 months.”

In his report, McNealy rattles off a long list of coming game titles for THQ:

  • Several new Pixar-related titles, including Ratatouille and Cars II (it’s a game sequel; there is no Cars II movie that anyone knows about).
  • Nickelodeon games moving to the Nintendo Wii.
  • Frontlines, a new war game, coming in September.
  • New versions of Juiced and MX.
  • Revival of its Red Faction franchise in FY 2008.
  • THQ yesterday was up 77 cents at $32.51.

    THQI 1-yr chart

    thqi chart

    Source: THQ: Strong Slate of New Games Ahead