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EA Games profits better than expected

by on06 May 2015

Battlefield Hardline sales good

Electronic Arts has surprised the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street with better-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue.

Apparently EA coined it on the release of "Battlefield Hardline" and stronger digital sales.

EA announced a buyback program of up to $1 billion and forecast full-year earnings above analyst estimates.

Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen said EA's digital business, which includes software distributed through the Internet, now accounts for more than half of the company's revenue and will continue to grow, told Reuters.

EA's net income rose to $395 million, or $1.19 per share, for the fourth quarter ended March 31, from $367 million, or $1.15 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 5.5 percent to $1.19 billion.

However, EA forecast a breakeven current quarter on an adjusted basis. Analysts on average were expecting a profit of 19 cents per share.

Jorgensen said EA would not release any games in the current quarter. "Consensus was really built on last year's numbers. The Street didn't have full visibility to our title plan yet," he said.

Revenue will be more concentrated in the second half of the fiscal year than it was last year, he said.

"Star Wars Battlefront", which comes out in mid-November before the Star Wars movie, will be EA's biggest title this year, he added.

EA has boosted revenue by offering its popular PC and online games on mobile devices, using a high-margin "freemium" model in which games are available for free but are monetized through advertising or by charging gamers for additional features.

EA and Visceral Games launched "Battlefield Hardline" in mid-March, and the physical retail version topped research firm NPD Group's March Top 10 Games list.

More than 30 million sessions of "Battlefield Hardline" were played in the quarter, the company said.

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