Electronic Arts reported earnings today that beat analysts’ expectations for its third fiscal quarter ended December 31.
The holidays are the game industry’s busiest season, and EA had big titles like Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 to compete against Activision’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. But it’s stock is down 2.7 percent in after-hours trading at $81.17 a share, as it appears the market hasn’t grasped yet that EA beat earnings expectations.
EA reported a net loss of less than a penny a share on net revenues of $1.15 billion on a GAAP basis. EA had previously estimated a GAAP net loss of 17 cents a share.
Analysts expected EA to report an adjusted profit of $2.25 a share on revenue of $2.035 billion. A year ago, EA reported net income of $1.83 a share on revenue of $1.8 billion. On an adjusted basis, EA beat revenue and profit expectations, said Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities. EA reported $2.070 billion in revenues and earnings of $2.48 per share.
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“With the top console games and most-downloaded mobile portfolio in the industry for Q3, Electronic Arts is growing, engaging and exciting a global community of players,” said EA CEO Andrew Wilson in a statement. “We will continue to push the boundaries of play, with stunning new titles like Mass Effect: Andromeda, global competitive gaming tournaments and more amazing experiences coming in the year ahead.”
“For the first time ever, we generated over $1 billion in operating cash flow in a quarter,” said chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen in a statement. “This is a true testament to the innovation we built into Battlefield 1 and FIFA 17 and the continued strength of our digital live services.”
EA said that its digital net sales were $2.86 billion in the year ended December 31, up 18 percent from a year ago. Digital net sales are now 60 percent of total net sales.
EA also said that FIFA 17 was the best-selling console title in the world, and Battlefield 1 was the biggest Battlefield launch ever, with a base that is 50 percent larger than that of Battlefield 4 through December 31. More than 10 million fans have played “The Journey,” the new single-player mode in FIFA 17.
Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak had predicted before the earnings announcement that EA had sold 15 million copies of Battlefield 1. And he estimated Titanfall 2 sold 4 million copies. In mobile, EA has been reaping revenues from Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, Madden NFL Mobile, SimCity BuildIt, and FIFA Mobile. EA said that average gameplay time in Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes hit a new high of 155 minutes per day. EA did not say how many copies it sold of each of its games.
As far as what is coming up, EA has Mass Effect: Andromeda coming out in the fourth fiscal quarter ending March 31.For the full fiscal year ending March 31, EA is predicting net revenue will be $4.8 billion, and that net income will be about $914 million. For the fourth quarter, EA said net revenue will be about $1.48 billion, and net income would be about $513 million.
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