Activision revenue forecasts take a hit as competion from free digital games like PUBG, Fortnite grows

Activision Blizzard Inc’s forecasts for the current quarter and full year came in below Wall Street estimates as the video game publisher faces competition from free digital games such as Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

The Activision booth is shown at the E3 2017. Reuters

The Activision booth is shown at the E3 2017. Reuters

The company had seen blockbuster sales from its Call of Duty franchise but the recent success of games from the “Battle Royale” genre has put pressure publishers including Activision and Take Two Interactive Software Inc.

Activision forecast current-quarter adjusted revenue of $1.35 billion and profit of 31 cents per share, missing the analysts’ average estimate of $1.49 billion and 47 cents per share.

Its 2018 guidance for adjusted profit of $2.51 per share and revenue of $7.48 billion also came in below analysts’ expectations. Analysts were expecting a profit of $2.61 per share and revenue of $7.51 billion.

“The guidance was pretty wimpy, around $100 million below consensus and $200 million below our prior estimate,” Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said in an email.

Activision shares have lost nearly 13 percent of their value since March 9, wiping off about $7.5 billion from its market capitalisation. The company also had a lack of popular releases in the quarter.

“We’ve seen some near-term impact from Battle Royale,” CFO Spencer Neumann said on a post-earnings call.

However, robust digital sales from games including Call of Duty helped Activision top Wall Street estimates for the first quarter on Thursday. Its revenue from high-margin digital business rose 13 percent to $1.21 billion in the quarter.

The company’s profit rose to $500 million, or 65 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 31, from $426 million, or 56 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 38 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 35 cents per share.

Total adjusted revenue rose to $1.38 billion from $1.20 billion.

Shares of the company were down 1.5 percent at $65.80 in extended trading.


Updated Date: May 04, 2018 09:22 AM