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King revenues help boost Activision Blizzard to record first quarter

Activision Blizzard's revenues hit a record high for the first quarter of its fiscal 2016, the three month period ended March 31, 2016 -- the first quarter that the revenues from Candy Crush developer King are included.

Activision Blizzard's revenues hit a record high for the first quarter of its fiscal 2016, the three month period ended March 31, 2016. This would be the first quarter that the revenues from Candy Crush developer King are included in the company's financial results -- following the Februrary close of the acqusition -- so it's no big surprise.

Revenues hit a record $908 million; analysts had predicted, on average, $812.12 million, so that's a big improvement over expectations. Earnings per share were $0.23, a vast improvement over analyst expectations of $0.12 per share. 

The company said in its earnings statement that King's situation is improving, with a modest 3 percent boost in monthly active users compared to the prior quarter. The company also said that the Candy Crush series has "returned to growth" thanks to the launch of Candy Crush Jelly Saga. King had often been dinged by investors, prior to joining Activision, for its overreliance on that franchise. 

Meanwhile, the MAUs of Activision (games like Destiny and Call of Duty) and Blizzard were up 10 percent and 23 percent year-on-year. The company has moved to this metric because of its increased emphasis on online games and easy basis for comparsion across all facets of its business.

In-game revenues, another major indicator, increased 20 percent year-on-year if you exclude the King business; 80 percent if you include it, given that King's business is predicated on the practice. Notably, Hearthstone rose 20 percent in revenue year-on-year.

Activision Blizzard's stock has risen 4 percent in after-hours trading; that's in contrast to the more significant tumble it took after the company announced its full-year results for 2015 three months ago.

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