Activision Inc. reported strong earnings that beat Wall Street's estimates after nearly doubling sales.


Activision reported net income of $44.2 million (14 cents per share), compared with a loss of $14.4 million (-5 cents) in the same period a year earlier.


Sales for the Santa Monica video game developer in the period ended March 31 almost doubled to $602 million, thanks to strong sales of the latest releases in its "Guitar Hero" and "Call of Duty" franchises. The two titles alone generated more than $1 billion in retail sales during the fiscal year, Activision said.


For the full year, Activision earned $345 million ($1.10 per share), up significantly from $85.7 million (28 cents) in 2007. Sales grew 93 percent to $2.9 billion.


For the first quarter of fiscal 2009, Activision forecast earnings of 4 cents per share on sales of $500 million. Both figures are ahead of analysts' forecasts.


Activision is set to become a part of the world's largest video game developer after it merges with Vivendi SA's Blizzard game unit. Vivendi said last year that it was buying the company for $9.8 billion.


Shares in Activision closed up 21 cents to $27.70 and continued to gain an additional 3 percent in after-hours trading to $28.55.

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