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Activision Exceeds Expectations With Profit Increase

Activision Exceeds Expectations With Profit Increase

May 6, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

Activision is weathering its recent legal battles and dramatic headlines just fine, smashing expectations in its fiscal first quarter. The company reported non-GAAP revenue of $714 million for the quarter ending March 31st, 2010 -- over $100 million more than even the top-end analyst estimate.

Its GAAP revenue for the quarter came in at $1.3 billion, and Activision also about doubled its profits to $381 million, as compared to $189 million in last year's first quarter.

Of course, Modern Warfare 2 and World of Warcraft bear most of the credit for the strong performance -- the former was the quarter's top-selling title in the U.S. and Europe, the publisher says, pointing to "continued momentum" for its catalog.

It also saw strong sales of DreamWorks movie tie-in How To Train Your Dragon, and the record-breaking Xbox Live sales performance of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's Stimulus Package DLC: Priced at $15, it sold 1 million units on Xbox Live on day one, and over 2.5 million in its first week, Activision has said.

CEO Bobby Kotick said the company has given its shareholder a 28 percent return as of the first quarter. "We continue to find ways to add profitable franchises that allow us to increase our operating margins," he says, pointing to the company's 10-year Bungie deal.

"This relationship will allow Activision to broaden its product portfolio with exciting new games and underscores our commitment to partnering with the best creative talent in the industry," Kotick added.

And, confronting criticisms of the publisher amid the exodus at Infinity Ward, on the company's earnings call to investors, Kotick first and foremost credited the "dedication" of the company's total 7200 "exceptionally talented" employees.

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