Activision Blizzard says strong sales lift 3Q results above estimates, hikes outlook

MarketsAssociated Press

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Activision Blizzard Inc., maker of the blockbuster "Call of Duty" video game franchise, said Tuesday that strong sales led to better-than-expected results for its third quarter and raised its full-year forecast. The stock jumped in after-hours trading.

Activision said sales of its "Destiny" and "World of Warcraft" games helped drive adjusted revenue up 78 percent in the three months that ended in September to $1.17 billion. That topped analysts' forecast for $991.8 million, according to Zack's, and last year's revenue of $657 million.

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The company gained 7.4 million subscribers to 'World of Warcraft" during the quarter, ahead of its release of "Warlords of Draenor." The company also raised its full-year outlook as it prepares for sales of the latest "Call of Duty" installment which was released Monday.

Activision reported a quarterly loss of $23 million, or 3 cents per share, compared with a profit of $56 million, or 5 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items it earned an adjusted profit of 23 cents per share, more than double the average 12-cent estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

Activision Blizzard said that it expects adjusted earnings of 86 cents per share for its fourth quarter on revenue of $2.2 billion. It now expects to earn $1.35 per share on revenue of $4.8 billion. That is up from its prior outlook of $1.29 per share on revenue of $4.7 billion.

Activision Blizzard shares rose over 4 percent to $20.80 in extended trading after the report. The stock closed earlier down 35 cents at $19.95. Its shares have climbed 12 percent since the beginning of the year.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap using data from Zacks Investment Research. ATVI stock research report from Zacks. http://www.zacks.com/ap/ATVI

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