Games Publisher Electronic Arts' Revenue Rises Almost 40%

Features Reuters

Electronic Arts Inc (EA), publisher of the "FIFA" and "Madden NFL" video games, posted better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, helped by growth in digital revenue and strong sales of its sports titles.

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The company's shares rose 3 percent to $49.92 in extended trading.

The world's second-largest video game publisher has benefited by offering its popular PC and online games on mobile devices, a high-margin "freemium" model.

In such a model, games can be played free, but are monetized via advertising or charging gamers for additional features.

"We anticipate freemium versions of EA's hit franchises could be very successful and believe EA's mobile growth could outpace the rapidly expanding mobile market," Morningstar analyst Peter Wahlstrom said in a note on Jan 9.

EA's digital revenue rose about 32 percent to $541 million in the third quarter ended Dec. 31.

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Total revenue rose nearly 40 percent to $1.13 billion.

Net income was $142 million, or 44 cents per share, compared with a loss of $308 million, or $1 per share, a year earlier.

On a non-GAAP basis, the company earned $1.22 per share on revenue of $1.43 billion.

Analysts on average expected a profit of 92 cents per share, on revenue of $1.29 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

EA forecast a fourth-quarter profit of about 22 cents per share, below analysts' average estimate of 26 cents.

(Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)