Pachter: GTA V to sell ‘at least 18 million units’

Rockstar’s as-of-yet-unannounced Grand Theft Auto V is expected to sell at least 18 million copies worldwide, says Wedbush Morgan’s Michael Pachter.

Not only that, but the analyst hinted sales of the hotly-anticipated sandbox game could potentially top the 24 million mark.

Writing in a research note, Pachter commented, "We expect the next Grand Theft Auto to sell at least 18 million units, representing a 20% attach rate to the estimated 2011 year-end installed base of PS3 and Xbox 360 in the U.S. and Europe."

“At this level, we estimate that Grand Theft Auto will generate at least $2.65/share in incremental EPS, making Take-Two’s forecast of ‘in excess’ of $2.00 per share in earnings during FY:13 easily attainable.

"Should the game sell 24 million units (in line with its historical attach rate), we expect contribution of more than $4.00 per share in incremental EPS. Importantly, the company has a history of providing conservative guidance, and without a GTA game in FY:13, we would not expect management to be so bold as to guide to earnings over $2.00."