Activision Blizzard Sinks on Missed Guidance

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Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) released third-quarter financial results after markets closed on Thursday. The company posted $0.49 in earnings per share (EPS) and $1.57 billion in revenue. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters called for $0.42 in EPS and $1.57 billion in revenue. The same period from last year had $0.21 in EPS and $1.04 billion in revenue.

Activision Blizzard had 482 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs) in the quarter. Also the company’s compelling in-game experiences drove over 10 billion hours of play time during the third-quarter.

Overwatch became Blizzard’s fastest game ever to reach over 20 million players globally, with a roughly even player base split between east and west.

King, formerly King Digital, MAUs of 394 million were down slightly this quarter. King had three of the top-20-grossing titles in the U.S. mobile app stores for the eleventh quarter in a row.

In terms of outlook for the fourth quarter, the company expects to see $0.40 in EPS and net revenues of $1.86 billion. The consensus estimates are calling for $0.80 in EPS and $2.48 billion in revenue.

Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, commented:

This quarter we again over-performed our plan, delivering record third-quarter revenues of $1.57 billion, up almost 60% and earnings per share of $0.49, more than doubling year-over-year on a non-GAAP basis (as redefined).

Kotick added:

We continue to see enthusiasm from our global audiences for our key franchises including Call of Duty, Destiny, Candy Crush and World of Warcraft, plus our newest franchise – Overwatch, which after only about four months had already reached over 20 million players and has incredible player engagement. Looking forward, we expect continued momentum from all of our growth strategies, especially our esports initiatives and our integration of in-game advertising.

Activision Blizzard generated a third-quarter record $456 million in operating cash flow for the quarter.

Shares of Activision Blizzard closed Thursday up 1.8% at $43.37, with a consensus analyst price target of $48.20 and a 52-week trading range of $26.49 to $45.55. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was down over 4% at $41.50 in the after-hours session.