Glu Mobile said that its fourth-fiscal quarter earnings would be down significantly from past expectations, sending its stock into a tailspin in after-hours trading.
The company also said today it has appointed Nick Earl, a veteran of game companies Kabam and Electronic Arts, as its new president of global studios.
The company also announced that it has signed celebrities who have a huge following on social media of a billion followers. In addition, the San Francisco-based company reported earnings and revenues that beat expectations. Glu reported non-GAAP earnings per share of 6 cents on revenue of $64 million, compared to expectations of zero cents a share earnings on revenue of $60 million.
However, Glu’s stock price fell 21 percent in after-hours trading because the company said it would miss its targets for fourth-quarter earnings and revenues. In a conference call, chief executive Niccolo De Masi said that the company was “exceptionally disappointed” with the guidance and it had canceled all staff bonuses for the year. Non-GAAP revenue is expected to be between $50 million and $52 million, while earnings per share will be about half of previous expectations at 6 cents a share to 7 cents a share.
Glu has already made a tons of money on its Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game. And it now has both announced and unannounced celebrities who have a collective social media following of more than a billion people. The announced deals include Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian West, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, and Jason Statham. Previously, Glu said its goal was to nab celebrities with a social following of 1 billion by 2020. (Some fan overlap exists on the channels).
“It is with great excitement that I’m able to confirm Glu has now signed exclusive, long-term partnerships with celebrities whose total social media audience exceeds one billion followers,” said De Masi in a statement. “We have the pleasure of working with the most iconic figures in entertainment whose brand recognition and social reach make them powerful partners for mobile gaming. We’ll announce our new partnerships in the fullness of time, two of which are male non-musician celebrities which add new depth to Glu’s celebrity gaming portfolio.
“We were satisfied with our financial results in the third quarter, including our ability to exceed revenue and EBITDA (earnings before income tax, depreciation and amortization) expectations. During the quarter, our results were driven by the ongoing strength of our catalog as well as the continued outperformance of our Cooking Dash game.”
Earl was most recently head of game studios at Glu’s cross-town rival Kabam. And before that, he ran mobile games at EA and had many game development roles there. Earl has been making games for 20 years and he has shipped titles such as The Simpsons: Tapped Out, The Sims FreePlay, and Real Racing 3.
De Masi said of Earl, “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Nick Earl as Glu’s President of Global Studios. He has shipped worldwide mobile hits including Marvel: Contest of Champions, The Simpsons: Tapped Out, The Sims FreePlay, and Real Racing 3 and we are pleased with the opportunity to attract such a world-class proven talent to Glu.”
“Glu consistently delivers triple-A mobile games with console-quality graphics. With the company riding a wave of success with games such as Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and the Deer Hunter franchise, I am incredibly excited to join Glu to support its continued growth and innovation,” said Earl, in a statement.