‘Nemo’ not enough: THQ profit sinks

Quarterly net revs jump 14.6% to $98.2 mil

The “Finding Nemo” vidgame helped THQ find more revenues but not more profits in its first quarter, as the Calabasas-based publisher reported a net loss of $3.6 million.

The company saw quarterly net revenues jump 14.6% to $98.2 million as it shipped more than 1 million copies in North America of its “Nemo” game, based on the Pixar/Disney animated hit feature. The game will roll out elsewhere around the world as Disney opens the film in each territory, a process that will continue throughout the year.

Prexy-CEO Brian Farrell and chief financial officer Fred Gysi blamed several unusual costs, including the $1 million cancellation of a game under development and higher licensing fees and marketing costs, for the quarterly loss despite much higher revenues. The $3.6 million loss compared with a $2.3 million profit in the year-ago quarter.

“We’re extremely pleased with the success of ‘Finding Nemo,’ ” Farrell said. “THQ is well positioned with a broad portfolio of established properties and new titles.”

The company expects to have $120 million in revenues in the second quarter. Among projects due for fall release is “Tak and the Power of Juju,” the first product of its collaboration with Nickelodeon to develop vidgame properties that could become movies or TV shows. Farrell said Nickelodeon has given the “Game First” initiative “a lot of support.”

Earnings weren’t reported until after market close, but THQ stock finished the day at $17.95, up 43¢ a share, or 2.45%, on lower than average volume.

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