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Electronic Arts reported earnings today for the fourth fiscal quarter ended March 31, as the game publisher saw good engagement for live services with its existing games and good user growth.
EA was expected to hit non-GAAP earnings per share of $1.43 on revenues of $1.77 billion. For the first fiscal quarter ending June 30, analysts expect EA to report earnings of 87 cents a share on revenues of $1.45 billion.
Net bookings for the fourth fiscal quarter ended March 31 were $1.751 billion, compared to $1.490 billion a year ago.
The Redwood City, California-based video game giant reported fourth fiscal quarter GAAP net income of $225 million, or 80 cents a share, on revenues of $1.825 billion, compared with net income of $76 million, or 26 cents a share, on revenue of $1.346 billion a year ago.
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In after-hours trading, the stock is down 1% to $110.62 a share.
EA’s stock price determines its value in the market, and it has to be wary about letting that slip, as Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion after Activision Blizzard’s stock price slipped last fall. EA doesn’t want to get scooped up as a bargain basement deal because it missed a quarter or had one bad game. Most public game company stocks have been beaten down in recent months.
Bookings reflect actual cash coming into the company, while revenues don’t include numbers that are yet to be realized, such as virtual goods that have been purchased but not used yet in games.
For the full fiscal year ended March 31, EA reported net bookings of $7.515 billion, up from 21% from the prior year. Live services and other net bookings were up 17% from the year earlier, and they represented 71% of total net bookings in the year.
“FY22 was a record year, with hundreds of millions of players around the world joining in our games to play, watch, and create with one another,” said Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts, in a statement. “With amazing games, built around powerful IP, made by incredibly talented teams, and outstanding engagement in our live services, FY23 is set to be a year of innovation and growth for Electronic Arts.”
EA chief financial officer Chris Suh said in a statement, “We finished the year with another strong quarter of revenue and profit growth, driven by our live services business which was 85% of our net bookings in FYQ4,” said CFO Chris Suh. “We have a strong foundation of deeply engaged players, rich IP and a resilient business model, which we will continue to invest in to deliver growth in FY23 and beyond.”
For the quarter ended March 31, unique active accounts were 580 million, up 16% from a year earlier. In the previous quarter, EA ended the third fiscal quarter ended December 31 with 540 million unique active accounts. EA had more than 180 million monthly active accounts across all platforms.
During the fiscal year, FIFA had more than 150 million accounts. FIFA Mobile had its biggest quarter with new unique players growing 80% over the course of the year. Apex Legend Season 12 set new records for engagement, and It Takes Two won over 90 years during the year.
Net cash from operating activities was $444 million for the quarter and $1.899 billion for the fiscal year.
A look ahead
EA has been on an acquisition spree in the past year with the acquisitions of Codemasters, Glu, Metalhead, and Playdemic.
For the upcoming first fiscal quarter ending June 30, EA expects net revenue of $1.675 billion and net income of $216 million to $240 million, or 76 cents a share to 85 cents a share. Net bookings are expected to be $1.2 billion to $1.25 billion.
For the full fiscal year ending March 31, 2023, EA expects net revenue to be $7.6 billion to $7.8 billion, with net income in the range of $793 million to $815 million.
On its fiscal 2023 title slate, EA said it will ship F122 in Q1, FIFA and Madden NFL in Q2, Need for Speed and NHL in Q3, and five titles in Q4 2023 (quarter ended March 31, 2023).
Those titles include PGA tour, a major intellectual property, a partner title, a remake, and a sports title.
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