reports that analysts Cowen and Company are expecting THQ to report a loss for the second half of its financial year, with a decline in sales of key franchises to blame.

"The WWE decline is particularly concerning since that franchise had been one of THQ's last bastions of strength," said Cowen and Company analyst Doug Creutz.

Creutz added: "The unit decline is not likely due to quality issues as this year's WWE title actually received meaningfully improved critical reviews compared to the last several editions."

Cowen and Company also point towards a year-on-year 19 per cent drop in SpongeBob SquarePants game sales, and a decline in popularity of the Saints Row franchise. The first Saints Row game released only on Xbox 360 and sold approximately 750,000 units during its first 12 months on sale in the US. Cowen had expected the sequel to sell in excess of one million units, but has now lowered its estimate to only 900,000 units during its first 12 months.

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