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Activision Blizzard Beats Quarterly Forecasts, Raises Outlook

Publisher Activision Blizzard reported quarterly sales of $745 million, well ahead of corporate guidance, thanks to strong performances from the Call of Duty franchise, StarCraft II and World of Warcraft.
Publisher Activision Blizzard on Thursday reported sales and profits that beat corporate guidance for the fiscal third quarter ended September 30, thanks to the strength of Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and StarCraft II. The publisher said it generated revenues of $745 million for the quarter, up from $703 million in Q3 last year, beating prior guidance of $600 million. Profits were $51 million for the quarter, up from $15 million year-on-year, also beating guidance. "For the nine months ending September 30, 2010, our digital offerings contributed close to half of our total non-GAAP net revenues and our digital revenues have increased more than 15 percent over the prior year," said CEO Bobby Kotick. "Most importantly, we continue to deliver some of the world's best games." The fiscal third quarter is just a primer for a big holiday quarter, when Activision plans on releasing Call of Duty: Black Ops and Blizzard expects to launch the highly-anticipated PC expansion pack, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Activision Blizzard raised its calendar year 2010 outlook to $4.28 billion in revenues, up from previous guidance of $4.18 billion. Earnings per share guidance was raised to 51 cents from 49 cents. For the fourth quarter alone, Activision Blizzard expects sales of $1.26 billion and a loss per share of 1 cent. "We expect to deliver the most profitable year in our history with record operating margins," Kotick added.

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