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Why Nintendo Profits Soared Fivefold in Q2

Kyoto-based Nintendo reported first-quarter fiscal 2021 results Thursday morning that shattered estimates, largely due to blistering sales of the company’s Nintendo Switch portable console and the latest version of its simulator game, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” Having a fair portion of the world’s population locked down in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 didn’t hurt either.

Nintendo reported net profit of $1.01 billion in the quarter, an increase of 541% year over year. Sales of Switch hardware and software totaled $3.26 billion in the quarter, more than double the total in the year-ago quarter. Revenue totaled $3.39 billion in first-quarter revenue

The company sold 5.68 million Switch consoles in the quarter, up 166% year over year. The company has sold a staggering 61.44 million Switch consoles since its introduction in March of 2017.

“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” sold 10.6 million units in the quarter, nearly equaling the prior quarter’s total of nearly 12 million following the new game’s release. About half of the game’s sales were digital downloads, and it accounted for the first game played by more than half of new Switch owners.

The company has sold 22.4 million copies of Animal Crossing, second only to total global sales of 26.7 million copies of “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.”

Nintendo remains cautious about lifting its forecast for the fiscal year, saying that it wants to see how things go in the holiday season before considering a change.

Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) reported booming sales earlier this week as well. Revenue rose by more than a third to $1.93 billion and net income rose by 77%. Net bookings rose by 72% to $2.08 billion.

Take Two Interactive Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), which also reported results this week, nearly doubled its profit year over year and more than doubled its revenue to $88.5 million and $831.3 million, respectively.

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) reported its best fiscal first-quarter ever last week, with revenue totaling $1.46 billion and earnings of $1.25 per share, both well above consensus estimates.

Those were all great, but they pale when compared to Nintendo’s blowout quarter.

In over-the-counter trading Wednesday, Nintendo (NTDOY) was up nearly 3% to close at $58.74, in a 52-week range of $35.82 to $60.00. The price target on the stock is $63.06, and Nintendo pays a dividend yield of 3.24%.