EA

(EA)

EA Adjusted 1Q Loss Shallower than Expected

By Features FOXBusiness

Electronic Arts (EA) posted a deeper first-quarter loss on an adjusted basis than it did the year before, but the drop was smaller than Wall Street expected.

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The videogame publisher revealed an adjusted loss of $130 million, or 41 cents a share, compared with $123 million, or 37 cents a share in the same three months in 2011. Analysts expected the company to post a loss of 42 cents a share. 

Net income came in at $201 million, excluding those adjustments, also down from the $221 million it earned in its first quarter in 2011.

Meanwhile, sales, on a non-GAAP basis, fell 6.3% from a year earlier to $491 million. EA’s board of directors also announced a $500 million stock-buyback plan.

“We have established an unmatched diversity in our business with multiple brands performing across several channels, business models and geographies,” chief executive John Riccitiello said in a release. “This allows us to drive profitable growth in a rapidly transforming marketplace for games.”

Among the moves the company plans is changing to a two-tiered structure on its popular Star Wars: The Old Republic game that will allow users to choose either a free account or one that costs $14.99 a month. EA also signed a publishing agreement with South Korean-publisher Nexon that will enable it to debut FIFA Online 3, part of its sport franchise, in that country later this fiscal year.

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Looking forward, EA said it expects to earn between $1.05 to $1.20 a share for the fiscal year ending in March 2013. Analysts on average were expecting the Redwood City, Calif.-based company to earn $1.06.  

Shares fell slightly in choppy after-hours trading.