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King profits are up from last year, but down from recent quarters
King profits are up from last year, but down from recent quarters
May 7, 2014 | By Mike Rose

May 7, 2014 | By Mike Rose
More: Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing

Update: Since the New York Stock Exchange opened this morning, King's share price has dropped by around 13 percent, and appears to be continuing a downward trend.

Original story: Candy Crush Saga creator King today released its first quarter results for the 2014 fiscal year, recording flat revenues and a drop in profits compared to the previous quarter.

Today's earnings release is the first since King's IPO -- the social games company launched on the New York Stock Exchange in March, and quickly faltered.

The company noted at the time that Candy Crush Saga alone accounted for 78 percent of King's total gross bookings, and that it needed to diversify its game catalogue more.

The company now says that it has managed this, as Candy Crush Saga accounted for 67 percent during the first quarter of this fiscal year, thanks in part to the new players added to other games like Farm Heroes Saga.

King says that it is seeing regular Candy Crush Saga players paying less into the game now -- its total monthly unique payers dropped to 11.9 million users last quarter, down from 12.2 million quarter-over-quarter.

However, it says that these players are spending money across the other King games thanks to cross-promotion between the games, and as such, average revenue per paying user is up to $18.02 compared to $17.32 quarter-over-quarter.

King's total daily active users also increased, up to 143 million DAUs this quarter compared to 124 million in the previous quarter.

But these additional players do not appear to be translating into boosted revenue and profits. For the quarter ended March 31, 2014, King recorded revenue of $606.7 million, up slightly from $601.7 million quarter-over-quarter, and profits of $127.2 million, down compared to $159.2 million quarter-over-quarter.

Still, the company is doing better than it was a year ago, before Candy Crush Saga really kicked off -- King's first quarter results a year ago were revenues of $205.9 million, compared to $606.7 million now, and profits of $52.7 million, compared to $159.2 million now.

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Nicholas Lovell
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The stock market will respond to how King's performance compares to the "indications" they gave during their IPO roadshow. That means that there are some ways we can look at the these numbers and understand what is going on, but unless we were in on those roadshows to understand investor expectations, it's hard to analyse the results.

BUT a fall of 13% suggests that in the eyes of investors, King has failed to deliver.

Nicholas Lovell
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I've done some more analysis now. My conclusion is that if I were an investor in King at the IPO, I'd be pissed.