Things haven’t exactly been going smoothly for THQ as of late, but they are looking up. After the success of Saints Row: The Third, the publisher’s fourth quarter results ended up surpassing expectations.

Volition’s open-world title has seen strong sales for THQ, and to date has shipped over 4 million copies. THQ’s success was further amplified by Saint’s Row: The Third‘s DLC, which caused a bump in digital sales. This isn’t surprising considering the title saw some good reviews, as well a positive response from the gaming community.

Overall, THQ is predicting to post net sales between $160 million and $170 million, which is up from their original prediction of $130 million to $150 million. These numbers will include a charge of $30 to $50 million that resulted from “non-cash software development” which THQ attributes to its “previously announced product strategy.” We wonder if it has anything to do with the delay of Metro: Last Light and Darksiders 2.

This boost will also help THQ’s share prices. The company was originally expecting a drop in price of thirty to fifty cents, but now feels the shares will only drop by ten or twenty cents. This certainly isn’t perfect by any means, but it’s definitely good news for a company that was almost delisted from NASDAQ.

Overall, THQ’s had a very difficult fiscal year. Red Faction: Armageddon performed badly enough for THQ to warrant cancelling future games. There was also the poor reception of Homefront though that game at least did well enough to justify a sequel. In early 2012 THQ was reportedly facing massive layoffs, causing Take Two’s Strauss Zelnick to say the company won’t be around for long. While the success of Saints Row: The Third by no means equates to THQ having a solid future, we can at least hope the publisher will be around for a while.

As long as Metro: Last Light doesn’t get cancelled, I’ll be happy.

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Source: THQ