Mobile Wins Lift Electronic Arts Inc. Earnings

Image source: Electronic Arts.

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) reported fiscal 2017 first-quarter results on Aug 2. The video game publisher saw sales rise despite a lack of major console game releases, as the company's digital and mobile businesses continue to gain steam.

Electronic Arts results: The raw numbers


Q1 2017

Q1 2016

Growth (YOY)


$1.271 million

$1.203 million


Net income

$440 million

$442 million


Earnings per share




Data source: Electronic Arts Q1 2017 earnings. YOY = year over year.

What happened with Electronic Arts this quarter?

Revenue rose 5.7% to $1.271 billion, exceeding Electronic Arts'guidance of$1.250 billion.

The company's blockbuster combat-based game franchises such as Battlefield and Star Wars Battlefront continue to delight millions of fans, with more than 11.5 million and 6.6 million unique players in Q1, respectively.

Additionally, EA's Madden franchise remains a stalwart, with Madden NFL 16unique players jumping more than 20% year over year, and monthly active players for Madden NFL Mobilesurging 25% versus the prior-year period.

Importantly, the video game company's $689 million in high-margin digital sales comprised 54% of total revenue during the second quarter. That helped earnings per share increase 6.1% to$1.40, whichalso surpassed EA's guidance for$1.30 in EPS.

What did management have to say?

"Q1 was a great quarter forElectronic Artswith amazing engagement in our global communities," said CEOAndrew Wilson. "EA is leading our industry through innovation, with more of our biggest games powered by Frostbite, breakthrough EA SPORTS titles on console and mobile, and the unstoppable combination ofBattlefield 1andTitanfall 2coming this holiday. We're looking forward to connecting more players around the world to each other through the games they love to play."

Looking forward

Electronic Arts expects to generate second-quarter revenue of approximately$915 million, with a net loss of $51 million, or $0.17 per share.

For fiscal 2017, Electronic Arts anticipates revenue of about$4.75 billion, with net income of $809 million and earnings per share of $2.56. The company is also forecasting full-year operating cash flow of approximately$1.3 billion.

"Our digital business drove this quarter, particularly outperformance from FIFA Ultimate Team on console andStar Wars: Galaxy of Heroes on mobile," added CFO Blake Jorgensen. "This success along with the launch of NBA LIVE Mobile gives us great confidence in our ability to operate and add new live services through the year."

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Joe Tenebruso has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Electronic Arts. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.