EA Guidance Minimizes Value and Turnaround (EA, ATVI, BBY, GME)

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Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) has released its earnings, and we forecast that this will help set the reception tone for Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) when it reports later in the week. EA called it a strong quarter and said that it generated $1.2 billion of digital revenue in its fiscal year-end with growth expected there in the year ahead.

The company is also calling this coming year a year it breaks away from the pack with a very different profile than the traditional game companies and capabilities. It also noted that none of the company’s new digital competitors can match EA. The video game giant further noted 20% non-GAAP EPS growth in fiscal 2012, and it now expects over 30% growth in 2013, based upon the midpoint of own guidance.

In this past quarter, EA generated net revenue of $977 million, and that was slightly ahead of its guidance of $925 to $975 million. Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.17 was in line with its guidance of $0.10 to $0.20 EPS. Thomson Reuters had estimates of $0.16 EPS and $958.5 million in revenues.

Guidance is being offered for a year out to its February 2013 year-end: $4.3 billion in sales and $1.05 to $1.20 EPS (both non-GAAP of course) against Thomson Reuters estimates of $1.12 EPS and $4.5 billion in sales.

Next quarter guidance is being put at -$0.45 to -$0.40 EPS and $500 million in revenue (both also non-GAAP) against Thomson Reuters estimates of -$0.33 EPS and $577.9 million in sales.

EA shares closed up $0.01 at $15.13 against a 52-week range of $14.48 to $26.13; shares are down about 7.3% at $13.90 in the after-hours session.

JON C. OGG

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