Update / Analyst projects disappointing sales numbers for THQ spearheaded by under-performing Darksiders

Update: THQ has announced that Darksiders shipped 1.2 million units in its first four weeks on the market.

Says President and CEO Brian Farrell: “We are pleased to report solid profitability in the third quarter and we are on track to achieve all of our fiscal 2010 financial targets that we announced at the beginning of the fiscal year. This marks a significant turnaround for THQ in just one year and underscores the success of our focused strategy and reduced cost structure.”

Original story: It’s getting close to that magical time of the year when various game publishers start releasing their quarterly statements, and according to Signal Hill analyst Todd Greenwald, THQ isn’t going to be thrilled.

Greenwald believes that THQ will post sales of $347 million dollars for the March quarter, which wouldn’t be a bad quarter if it wasn’t for comparisons to the same quarter from last year, which included sales for Saints Row 2.

Greenwald pegs the main culprit for the low numbers to be Darksiders, which THQ marketed “fairly heavily” but was unable to sell over a million copies. Unfortunately for THQ, WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw 2010, MX Vs. ATV Reflex, and “numerous Wii titles” all under-performed and were subject to “heavy discounting”. He also questions THQ’s announcement of a planned 5% growth this year, with the main reason being their lack of a Pixar game this year due to Pixar themselves developing the videogame version of Toy Story 3. This key omission will affect their Wii and DS market the most, which accounts for 35-40% of their total sales.