Electronic Arts (EA) Earning Beats Street Expectations As 'Titanfall' Boots 1st Quarter

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Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) reported Tuesday better-than-expected revenue and profit for the first quarter, driven by robust sales of titles such as "Titanfall," digital revenue and cost control.

The company, a major player in the computer game industry, issued the report for the quarter ending June 30 after markets closed Tuesday afternoon.  

First-quarter net income increased to $335 million or $1.04 per share, from $222 million or $0.71 per share in the comparable quarter last year. The showing beat Wall Street expectations.  

Non-GAAP net income for the latest first quarter was $61 million or 19 cents per share, compared to net loss of $121 million or 40 cents per share in the prior year quarter, RTTNews reported. On average, 23 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report a loss per share of 4 cents for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Total net revenue increased to $1.21 billion from $949 million in the year-ago period, while non-GAAP net revenue was $775 million, compared to $495 million last year. Analysts had expected revenue of $713.24 million, for the quarter.

EA’s own guidance was for revenue of $700 million and a loss of 5 cents a share.

Shares were relatively unchanged after closing at $38.42 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday.

Venture Beat attributed the better-than-forecast earnings to the release of the big multiplayer shooter game “Titanfall” for the Xbox platform.

The release of the Xbox One-exclusive “Titanfall” in March (and on PC) and the Xbox 360 version in April helped EA report better earnings in the quarter ended June 30.

“It was a strong start to the year for Electronic Arts. We are committed to putting our players first and delivering the entertainment, innovation and creativity that our players want,” said chief executive officer Andrew Wilson. “Through exciting new titles and fresh content in our live services, we are well-positioned to deliver on that commitment in FY15 and beyond.”

"On the digital side, (we saw) great continued growth on mobile and PC full game downloads and our subscriptions business with all of those up dramatically," CFO Blake Jorgensen said in an interview with Reuters.

Games such as "Ultimate Fighting Championship," soccer title "FIFA" and shooter game "Titanfall" were strong revenue drivers, Jorgensen said.

The Redwood City, California-based company also said Tuesday it postponed the launch of the annual edition of its military-style shooter game "Battlefield" to early next year. The launch of "Battlefield: Hardline" was previously planned for this year's holiday shopping period. The company reaffirmed its previous forecast of non-GAAP revenue of $4.1 billion and earnings per share of $1.85 in the fiscal year ending March 2015. Video game industry software sales, which lagged in April and June, are seeing a boost as games for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 devices, which were launched last holiday, gain steam. But sales of titles for older consoles, which have a larger install base, continue to slip.

"We're right now at that place we're still seeing headwinds," Jorgensen said.

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