The company reported net profits of $10.9 million (17 cents per share) for the quarter, far exceeding the $875,000 (2 cents per share) reported in the same period last year. Analysts had been predicting an 11-cent-per-share profit.
Revenues for the fourth quarter came in at $164.9 million, a 30 percent rise from the $126.8 million reported last year for the quarter. The company cited Microsoft's Xbox as its top platform for the quarter, bringing in 21 percent of the total publishing revenue for the quarter (publishing revenue accounted for 66 percent of Activision's total).
In light of the results, Activision has raised its guidance for 2003 and plans to target $1 billion in revenue in 2004. Currently, Electronic Arts is the only other publisher with annual revenues exceeding $1 billion.
Activision's shares rose 2 percent in after-hours trading based on the results. The stock is up 18 percent for the year, making it the second-best-performing game publisher among those publicly traded.