Activision Raises Outlook After Reporting Strong Call of Duty Preorders

Published on November 8, 2011
by Tricia Duryee

Activision reported that an unprecedented level of preorders for its first-person shooter, Call of Duty, will help it annihilate previous expectations for the fourth quarter.

The game, which was released today, is expected to be the videogame publisher’s top-selling title this year, even though it faces steep competition from Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 3 title.

The company also said today that other franchises, including a brand new game called Skylanders, enjoyed unexpectedly high adoption from users.

“Based on our third-quarter performance, stronger than expected consumer response to our new entertainment property, Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventures, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, we are raising our full-year financial outlook and expect once again to deliver record operating margins and the highest earnings per share in our company’s history,” said Activision’s CEO Robert Kotick, in a release.

Skylanders uses small miniature toys that come to life in the videogame across multiple platforms.

In the third quarter, the company reported Q3 revenues of $754 million, up from $745 million, and a profit of $148 million, or 13 cents a share, up from $51 million, or 4 cents a share in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, the company recorded a profit of 7 cents a share.

Results easily beat analyst expectations, who were expecting, on average, adjusted earnings of two cents a share on revenue of $564.8 million, according to a poll by FactSet.

The company was previously expecting revenues of $4.18 billion, or 68 cents a share. It has now upped those estimates to $4.33 billion, or 76 cents a share.

During regular trading today, shares of Activision Blizzard at one point rose nearly 3 percent to $14.11, which put the stock to a new three-year high. The stock ended up closing up 1.38 percent, but in after-hours trading the stock continued to jump, increasing more than 4 percent to $14.55.

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