Blog Post

Earnings: Activision Swings To Loss In Q4, But Revs Beat Estimates

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

imageRobust sales of blockbuster titles like Guitar Hero World Tour and World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King weren’t enough to keep Activision (NSDQ: ATVI) Blizzard in the black for Q4, as the publisher swung to a loss for Q4. The company reported a GAAP net loss of $72 million or $0.05 per share; that’s in contrast to an $86 million profit and EPS of $0.15 in Q407.

Activision said net income excluding deferred revenue and other charges (non-GAAP) would’ve been $429 million — but that still didn’t stop investors from sending shares down in after-hours trading.

Strong revenues: The Street’s consensus was about $2.1 billion — and Activision’s non-GAAP net revenues came in at $2.3 billion. It also beat its own estimate of $2.2 billion. GAAP revs were slightly lower, at $1.6 billion, but still up from $453 million in Q407.

Best-selling games of 2008: With Guitar Hero and Call of Duty, Activision said it had two of the top-five best-selling franchises across all consoles last year, per aggregated stats from NPD, Gfk and Charttrack. Meanwhile, Lich King came in as the best-selling PC title for 2008 in North America and Europe.

In context: Activision’s mixed performance comes about a week after THQ (NSDQ: THQI) and EA both released poor Q4 reports. And while its rivals may have larger holes to dig out off, the industry-wide layoffs and losses make it clear (if it wasn’t already) that gaming companies aren’t recession proof.

Earnings release | Webcast | Transcript (via Seeking Alpha)

Photo Credit: The Eggplant