Billionaire Ken Griffin Is Going Grand Theft Auto at Take Two

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CITADEL INVESTMENT GROUPCitadel Investment Group, which is managed by billionaire Ken Griffin, now owns 5.5 million shares of video game company Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) according to a filing with the SEC. This is up from 3 million shares at the beginning of October, per Citadel’s most recent 13F filing, and that stake in turn was 41% larger than it had been three months earlier. Find more stock picks from billionaire Ken Griffin. The fund now owns about 6% of the total shares outstanding. Take-Two is most notable for the Grand Theft Auto series of games, but also publishes sports and strategy games as well as other action franchises.

Fellow billionaire Carl Icahn has been moving back into Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., with a recent filing disclosing a position of 8.7 million shares (read more about Icahn’s interest in Take-Two). Glenview Capital, a hedge fund managed by former Omega Advisors trader Larry Robbins (check out his favorite stocks), owned 7.2 million shares at the end of the third quarter of 2012. See our analysis of hedge fund activity in video game companies.

Sales were up strongly in the third quarter of 2011 from a year earlier, but due to the nature of the video game business that’s not particularly meaningful; new product releases can cause sharp spikes in revenue. In the six months ending in September (Take-Two’s fiscal year ends in March), revenue was up 13% from the comparable period in the previous fiscal year though net losses more than doubled. Analyst expectations for the next fiscal year (ending in March 2014) imply a forward P/E of 5, likely because Take-Two currently has Grand Theft Auto V in development. While the company has not set a release date, it appears likely that the game will be released in that fiscal year and drive abnormally high earnings. We’d also note that while a number of hedge funds are bullish on the stock, quite a few traders think that Take-Two is overvalued: the most recent data shows that 28% of the outstanding shares are held short.

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