EA sees full-year revenue above estimates as home-sheltering boosts gaming

FILE PHOTO: An Electronic Arts (EA) video game logo is seen at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, in Los Angeles, California, United States, June 17, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

(Reuters) – Video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc forecast full-year adjusted revenue above Wall Street estimates on Tuesday, driven by higher sales in its major franchises like “FIFA” and “Apex Legends” as broader videogame sales rose with people staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company forecast full-year adjusted revenue of $5.55 billion, beating analysts’ average estimate of $5.37 billion.

Videogame sales in the United States have surged in the last two months as the virus shut down the country and forced millions inside their homes, with sales in March hitting their highest in over a decade. [nL3N2C91CW]

“With more people staying at home, we have experienced, and are continuing to experience, heightened levels of engagement and live services net bookings growth to date”, EA said in a statement.

The company earns a bigger chunk of its sales from its live services which include in-game purchases and “EA Access”, a subscription-based online service, among other items.

EA’s popular titles, including its holiday launch “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” that has over 10 million players till date, competes with other big-budget titles from rivals Activision Blizzard Inc and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.

On an adjusted basis, the company’s quarterly revenue fell to $1.21 billion from $1.36 billion, but edged past analysts’ estimates of $1.19 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net income jumped to $418 million, or $1.43 per share, in the fourth quarter ended March 31, from $209 million, or 69 cents per share, a year ago.

Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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