Why Activision Blizzard Couldn’t Pull It Off in Q1

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When Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) released its most recent quarterly results after the markets closed on Thursday, the company posted $0.31 in adjusted earnings per share (EPS) and $1.26 billion in revenue. That compared with consensus estimates of $0.26 in EPS and $1.24 billion in revenue, as well as the $0.38 per share and $1.38 billion seen in the same period of last year.

During the most recent quarter, Activision Blizzard’s net bookings were $1.26 billion, compared with $1.38 billion last year. Net bookings from digital channels were $1.07 billion, as compared with $1.21 billion.

The company had 345 million monthly active users in the quarter, with 41 million at Activision, 32 million at Blizzard and 272 million at King.

Looking ahead to the second quarter, the company expects to see EPS of $0.35 and revenue of $1.315 billion. Consensus estimates call for $0.37 in EPS and $1.28 billion in revenue for the quarter.

Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, commented:

We started the year with strong operating discipline and exceeded our prior outlook for the first quarter. We are increasing investment in our biggest franchises to better deliver against our growth potential, and I am pleased with our progress. We’re continuing to enhance our leadership position in esports. The second season of the Overwatch League has seen strong growth in viewership, and we’re seeing enthusiastic demand for our professional, city-based Call of Duty league franchises. We have already sold the first five Call of Duty teams in Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Paris and Toronto to owners who recognize the scale of the opportunity from their partnerships with us on the Overwatch League.

Shares of Activision Blizzard closed Thursday at $49.55, in a 52-week range of $39.85 to $84.68. The consensus price target is $52.61. Following the announcement, shares were down 3% at $47.75 in early trading indications Friday.

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