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King sees better-than-expected Q3 as it moves beyond Candy Crush

The company beat analyst expectations but reported a drop in both revenues and profits for the quarter as it continues to diversify its game catalog to decrease its reliance on Candy Crush Saga.
When casual games company King went public early this year, Candy Crush Saga accounted for a whopping 78 percent of the company's total gross bookings and King made a point of admitting that it needed to diversify its catalog of games to survive long-term. Today it continues to harp on this point in its latest earnings report, noting that while Non-GAAP gross bookings for the third quarter ending in September were down 16 percent year-over-year to $543.9 million, Candy Crush Saga only accounted for 51 percent of the total, or $279 million -- a 23 percent drop in the game's bookings from the prior quarter. "We have a consistent track record of developing successive hit games and as a result, have increased our non-Candy Crush Saga gross bookings to $264 million in third quarter 2014," said King CEO Riccardo Zacconi, adding that if that rate stays consistent through a full year it will beat $1 billion, which "makes our non-Candy Crush Saga business larger than most every other mobile gaming company." The company beat analyst expectations but reported a drop in both revenues and profits for the quarter; Non-GAAP revenue was down 17 percent year-over-year to $514 million, while Non-GAAP profits dropped 38 percent year-over-year to $142 million. Based on its performance to date, financial analysts had predicted the company would see Non-GAAP revenue of $495 million and gross bookings between $500-$525 million. King blamed its better-than-expected performance on the successful recent launches of its mobile game Diamond Digger Saga and the Facebook version of Candy Crush Soda Saga. Looking ahead, the company predicts it will reap Non-GAAP gross bookings of $525 million to $550 million in the upcoming fourth quarter of fiscal year 2014.

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