Activision Blizzard 2nd-quarter profit drops 37 percent but beats Wall Street expectations

Activision Blizzard Inc., the maker of "Call of Duty" and other video games, said Tuesday that earnings fell 37 percent in the second quarter but beat analysts' expectations.

The company said that it was helped by strong digital sales of several games, and it slightly raised its forecast for full-year earnings and revenue. The shares rose in after-market trading.

The Santa Monica, California-based company said that second-quarter net income fell to $204 million, or 28 cents per share, from $324 million, also 28 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share were flat because Activision repurchased a large block of shares from Vivendi in October, reducing its shares outstanding year over year.

Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were 6 cents per share. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 2 cents per share.

Activision said that revenue declined 8 percent to $970 million from $1.05 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Adjusted revenue was $658 million. That topped Wall Street forecasts. Analysts expected $606.4 million, according to Zacks.

Adjusted figures exclude special items and account for the effects of deferring revenue and related cost of sales for games with online components. Like other video game companies, Activision spreads these out over time, while the game is played, rather than recognizing them all at once.

The company forecast full-year earnings, excluding one-time items, of $1.29 per share, up from a previous $1.27 per share, and said adjusted revenue would be $4.7 billion, up from $4.68 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet forecast annual adjusted earnings per share of $1.31 on adjusted revenue of $4.71 billion.

Activision Blizzard shares closed down 25 cents to $22.36. After the earnings report, they were up 79 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $23.15 in after-hours trading. They have climbed 25 percent since the beginning of the year.