EA hikes annual sales outlook as lockdown boost for videogames continues




By Ayanti Bera


(Reuters) – Electronic Arts Inc on Tuesday raised its annual sales outlook, betting on strong sales of its sports titles including “FIFA 21” and “Madden NFL 21” as more people turn to videogames to keep themselves entertained during COVID-19 lockdowns.



Shares of the company, however, fell 5% in extended trading after EA’s 98 cents adjusted profit forecast for the current quarter missed analysts’ average estimate by 2 cents.


Videogame sales in the United States hit a record $56.9 billion last year, according to research firm NPD, as demand for virtual entertainment soared after major public events were canceled to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.


EA said new players on its battle royale game “Apex Legends” jumped 30% year-over-year. The soft launch of its mobile version is expected in the next three to six months, Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgenson told Reuters.


The company also extended its multi-year licensing agreement with UEFA for exclusive club competition rights for its “FIFA” franchise, adding that the latest soccer title would launch on Google’s cloud gaming service, Stadia, on March 17.


EA is doubling down on its sports division, a major money-spinner for the publisher, by striking an exclusive partnership to develop simulation college football videogames set to release in the coming years, the company announced earlier on Tuesday.


The launch of new installments in “Battlefield” and “Need For Speed” franchises and the integration of recently-acquired UK-based Codemasters is expected boost growth in fiscal 2022, the company said.


EA raised its full-year adjusted sales forecast to $6.08 billion from $5.95 billion, edging past analysts’ estimates of $6.01 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.


The company’s adjusted revenue for the holiday-quarter, ended Dec. 31, was $2.4 billion, narrowly beating analysts’ average estimate of $2.39 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.


 


(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta and Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor





Source link