Electronic Arts 3Q Loss Grows on Softer U.S. Video Game Demand

Hurt by weaker demand in North America, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) revealed late Tuesday a sharply widened third-quarter loss, however its results landed ahead of expectations, leading the company to raise its fiscal view and sending the shares up 9% after hours.

The Redwood City, Calif.-based company posted a net loss of $322 million, or 97 cents a share, compared with a loss of $82 million, or 23 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 59 cents a share, just ahead of average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of 57 cents.

Revenue for the developer and publisher of video game software and content, such as The Sims, EA Sports Active, Madden NFL Football, FIFA Soccer and Tiger Woods PGA Tour, was $1.41 billion, up from $1.35 billion a year ago, narrowly beating the Street’s view of $1.44 billion.

The company will repurchase $600 million of its shares over the next 18 months.

“We are pleased to report another strong quarter,” said Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello. “Our $600 million stock buyback demonstrates our confidence in EA’s digital strategy.”

Sales were hurt by weaker demand in North America and Asia, down 24% and 21%, respectively. European sales, meanwhile, slipped 2%.

Despite the softer sales, EA raised its full-year non-GAAP revenue guidance to the range of $3.68 billion to $3.78 billion.

The company sees GAAP earnings in the range of a 90-cent to 70-cent loss, though it anticipates non-GAAP earnings in the profitable range of 60 cents to 70 cents a share.