Mike Isaac

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Zynga Beats Forecasts Amid Wave of User Departures

Zynga earnings are out, and it’s a welcome bit of good news: A loss of two cents per share on adjusted revenue — or bookings, as Zynga calls it — of $152 million. That’s up against analysts’ estimates of a loss of four cents per share, with bookings of $142.67 million.

The bad news is, the company is still bleeding users. Monthly active users are down to 133 million in Q3, slashed 57 percent year on year. Daily active users, too, are down; the company only hosts 30 million DAUs on its platform, cut exactly in half from the previous year.

“Our teams are working hard to compete more aggressively on the web, move to mobile and develop new hits, and I am happy with the early progress we have made,” CEO Don Mattrick said in a statement. “I am confident that Zynga is rewiring itself in a meaningful way that will strengthen the core of our business and put us back on track to achieve significant long term growth and profits.”

One particular point of worry: Mobile bookings for the quarter were $46 million, down from $51 million from the year-ago quarter and dipping from $50 million in Q2 of this year. That’s troublesome, considering an increasing number of Zynga’s users are migrating to mobile platforms — just like the rest of the Web.

But in a conference call with analysts on Thursday Mattrick said focusing on three core games — Farmville, Zynga Poker and Words with Friends — will prove to yield the best results in the coming year. CFO Mark Vranesh said the company expects to be profitable throughout 2014.

Mattrick also announced the hiring of his new chief operating officer, Clive Downie, former CEO of social mobile gaming outfit DeNA West.

Shares of Zynga rose nearly 14 percent in after-hours trading, hovering at around $4 per share.

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