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Activision Blizzard's shares slump after weak Christmas

The firm blamed tough comparables and an up tick in competition.

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The firm is the creator of titles including World of Warcraft and Call of Duty

Video gaming giant Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) saw its shares slump in pre-market trading as markets reacted to a slower than expected fourth quarter, despite a bullish outlook on the current year.

The creator of titles including World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, announced adjusted revenue for the latest quarter fell roughly 4% to $2.12bn having previously been expected to remain flat at $2.15bn.

The firm blamed the drop on a strong slate of games being released the year before, including a new "Call of Duty" instalment and a major expansion to its new "Destiny" franchise.

Casual games such as "Skylanders SuperChargers" and "Guitar Hero Live" didn't sell as well as expected, Activision said, noting this was due to a hike in competition.

Adjusted profit dropped to 83 cents a share, down from 94 cents a year ago and Activision also blamed casual players' shift to mobile devices for tougher market conditions.

Shares dropped more than 6% in pre-market trading to $30.52.

But the company said it expects significantly stronger results in 2016 as it integrates mobile-game maker King Digital Entertainment PLC.

The firm said it expects adjusted revenue for the year to be $6.25bn and per-share profit of $1.75, well above the $4.62bn in adjusted revenue and $1.32 in per-share profit earned in 2015.

The $5.9bn acquisition of King Digital, which makes "Candy Crush Saga," one of the world's most successful mobile apps, is being made to arrest this concern.

Once completed, Activision said it would have 500 million monthly active users, up from 80 million.

Quick facts: Activision Blizzard, Inc.

Price: 51.95 USD

NASDAQ:ATVI
Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $39.91 billion
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