Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian on Thursday raised sales and profits estimates for publisher Electronic Arts, mainly due to stronger than expected sales of EA DICE's online-centric first-person shooter, Battlefield: Bad Company 2
"We now expect EA to ship 3 million-plus units of Battlefield [Bad Company 2]
for the quarter [ending March 31], ahead of our original 2.5 million unit estimate," Sebastian said. He also noted that the game reached 230,000 peak concurrent users for online multiplayer, "which bodes well for overall franchise strength and the potential for follow-on sales."
On March 18, EA said that Battlefield: Bad Company 2
, released on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on March 2 in North America, sold 2.3 million units
up to that time.
The analyst added, "Based primarily on continuing strength in sell-through of Battlefield: Bad Company 2
, we are raising our 1Q revenue and [earnings per share] estimates for EA to $850 million and 5 cents, up from $830 million and 4 cents, respectively." EA's fiscal year ends March 31.
Sebastian said, "Our most recent channel checks suggest that Battlefield
is showing legs, whereas many 2009 titles and early 2010 releases, such as BioShock 2
, faded more quickly."
He also said that EA's upcoming sports games will likely prove to be the company's next product catalysts, with the releases of World Cup
in April, and spring and summer games including Tiger Woods, NCAA Football, FIFA
and Madden NFL