Consider that on a July 9 conference call to update investors on a 100-day plan under the new regime, new Chairman Strauss Zelnick, portrayed as a savior, reaffirmed guidance. Now the company is taking down guidance for the third and fourth quarters and the full year, blaming a push back of the long-anticipated October release of the latest version of its violent Grand Theft Auto video game "due to additional development time required to complete the title."
Yet as recently as its June 11 earnings call, CEO Ben Feder also reaffirmed that Grand Theft Auto's release date was confirmed. "We are going to meet the release date," he said. "So let me just say that clearly."
The company gave no further details, other than to say the game will be released in the second quarter of next year. This is the same company that recently delayed plans to release its Manhunt 2 because of ratings-related issues. Feder stressed that Take-Two's "financial condition" is sound. However, to keep it sound the company several weeks ago lined up $100 million in financing -- not from a bank or through a traditional financing, but from Wells Fargo Foothill, an asset backed lender which views itself as "an alternative source of financing" that provides "innovative financing solutions." At not at a cheap rate. Must be nobody else was willing to take the risk, and as yesterday's news suggests, for good reason.
If you didn't know better, based on trading of Take-Two this week, you'd think somebody was tipped to the news.
TTWO 1-yr chart: