Activision Blizzard, Inc. is an online, personal computer, console and handheld game publisher. Through Activision Publishing, Inc., the Company is an international publisher of interactive software products and peripherals.
Activision Blizzard Q1 profits beat Street
Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), the world's biggest video games publisher, late Wednesday posted first-quarter sales and profit that beat analysts’ estimates.
Its forecast for the current quarter, however, and the full year were short of projections as the maker of online adventure game "World of Warcraft" unveiled it had slowed a subscriber slump.
For the three months ended March 31, the maker of the "Call of Duty" first-person shooter franchise said net income dropped to $384 million, or 33 cents per share, compared with $503 million, or 42 cents per share a year ago.
Excluding items, profit of 6 cents beat the 4 cent average of 17 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Revenue was $1.17 billion compared with $1.5 billion a year ago for the three months ended March 31.
"Our better-than-expected first-quarter performance was driven by global consumer demand for Activision's "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3", and "Skylanders Spyro's Adventures" as well as Blizzard Entertainment's "World of Warcraft" which remains the #1 subscription-based MMORPG in the world," Activision Blizzard chief executive officer Bobby Kotick said.
Activision was able to keep its first quarter massive-multiplayer online role-playing game "World of Warcraft" subscribers static at 10.2 million compared with last quarter. Video games companies have struggled to keep hold of online gaming subscribers, a key driver of revenue.
Earlier this week, rival Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) said it lost 400,000 subscribers of its "Star Wars: The Old Republic" online role-playing game in the fourth quarter, dealing a blow to its efforts to rely on the game for growth.
Activision Blizzard is now on track to launch its upcoming game "Diablo III" on May 15.
Heading into the holiday season, the company's pipeline includes "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" which is scheduled for a November 13 launch. This installment of the franchise is being developed by Treyarch, one of the two video games studios that handle
Activision Blizzard's blockbuster franchise.
The other studio, Infinity Ward, originally created the "Call of Duty" franchise but has been mired in controversy as key team members have departed to form their own game studio.
Video games studios, also known as developers, actually create the video games that companies such as Activision Blizzard publish.
Looking ahead, the games publisher now expects annual earnings per share of 95 cents on revenue of $4.53 billion, which is below Wall Street's expectations of 97 cents per share on revenue of $4.57 billion.
For the second quarter, it expects EPS of 10 cents per share on revenue of $805 million, which misses analyst estimates of 16 cents per share on revenue of $822.16 million.