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February 02, 2001|ALEX PHAM

Santa Monica video game maker Activision Inc. said its fiscal third-quarter profit fell 8% from a year earlier to $20.5 million, or 70 cents a share. Sales dipped 2% to $264.5 million. The company beat Wall Street expectations of a 59-cents-a-share profit. Revenue exceeded analysts expectations by 20%.

Analysts' lower revenue projections were based on a general downturn in the video game industry.

Because of the better-than-expected quarter, Activision CEO Robert Kotick raised projected full-year earnings by 17.5% to 74 cents a share for the fiscal year ending March 31. Analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial had expected the company to earn 63 cents for the fiscal year. Shares of Activision gained 38 cents to close at $18.50 on Nasdaq.

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