Nintendo reported earnings that missed expectations for the second fiscal quarter ended September 30. And it also significantly lowered its outlook for revenues for the fiscal year that ends March 31, 2017.
The Kyoto, Japan-based video game company said it had ordinary income of ¥7.7 billion ($74 million) on revenues of ¥74.8 billion, or $718 million. But it had a big one-time gain from the sale of the Seattle Mariners, boosting net income to ¥62.8 billion ($602 million). In effect, Nintendo missed significantly on both its earnings targets and its revenue targets. It reported a small operating loss.
Nintendo was expected to report a net profit of 18.5 billion yen ($177 million) and an operating profit of ¥3.2 billion yen ($30.6 million), according to analyst estimates. In the year-earlier quarter, Nintendo reported a profit of ¥3.2 billion ($30.6 million) and operating profit of ¥7.8 billion ($74.7 million). During the quarter, it released no hit titles, compared to Splatoon and Super Mario Maker a year ago, Nintendo said.
Analysts expected Nintendo to report quarterly revenue of ¥82.3 billion ($788 million), down from ¥114 billion ($1.1 billion) a year earlier. For the full year, Nintendo cut its forecast for revenue from ¥500 billion to ¥470 billion, and it reduced its operating income target from ¥45 billion to ¥30 billion. It said stronger-than-expected yen in foreign currency and sales performance were the reasons for the change. The full year revenues will be less than a third of what they were in 2009, Nintendo’s peak year for revenues. Still, Nintendo’s stock is up 1.68 percent in after-hours trading.
Nintendo released a 3-minute video describing its new video game platform, code-named NX and now called the Nintendo Switch, last week. The Nintendo Switch is a combination of handheld tablet and a home console. It will be a challenge to get hardware sales going again, as Nintendo’s hardware business peaked in 2009 and it has steadily declined over the years.
CEO Tatsumi Kimishima made no statement on the report. In comments reported by the Wall Street Journal, Kimishima said the Nintendo Switch is expected to sell 2 million units before the end of March 2017. The company plans to share more about the Nintendo Switch by the end of this year; the launch is scheduled to occur by March.
Meanwhile, the company said that the blockbuster smartphone app Pokémon Go (which generated $600 million in its first 90 days) generated ¥12 billion, or $115 million, in share of profit from its affiliate Pokémon Co. Pokémon Go drove more awareness of the Pokémon brand and generated an increase in sales of 3DS hardware during the quarter. Nintendo sold 2.71 million 3DS units in the quarter, up 19 percent from a year ago. Software sales were flat.
Nintendo doesn’t entirely cash in on the Pokémon Go craze, as the game was made by Niantic Labs and Nintendo affiliate Pokémon Co. In July, Nintendo said it didn’t expect a major financial contribution from the game. Nintendo did directly participate in the phenomenon by selling the Pokémon Go Plus, but Nintendo didn’t break out the results for that item.
The Wii U is expected to sell anemic 800,000 units during the whole fiscal year. Amiibo toy units sold 3.8 million figures and 1.7 million cards.
As for the 3DS, Nintendo is hoping some new titles will help it during the coming holiday season. The titles include the Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon games, Super Mario Maker and Miitopia.
Lastly, Nintendo is soon launching its Super Mario Run game for Apple’s iPhone in December. That title is being co-created with smartphone game maker DeNA.