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EA Holiday Revenues, Profits Down As Digital Continues Rise

EA Holiday Revenues, Profits Down As Digital Continues Rise

February 1, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

February 1, 2011 | By Kyle Orland
More: Console/PC

Electronic Arts posted an expanded net loss for the 2010 holiday quarter, but adjusted results show the company bringing in stronger profits than the same period in 2009.

Under GAAP rules, the major game publisher showed $1.05 billion in revenue for the fiscal quarter ending December 31, down 15 percent from a year before. The decline resulted in a significant $322 million net loss for the period, up nearly threefold from the previous year.

But adjusted, non-GAAP numbers for the period show profits nearly doubling to $196 million and revenue increasing slightly to $1.41 billion.

In announcing the results, EA stressed five titles from the 2010 calendar year that had sold more than 5 million units, including holiday quarter releases Medal of Honor and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit as well as earlier releases FIFA 11, Madden NFL 11 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2.

The company also stressed 39 percent year-over-year growth in digital revenues for the quarter, to $211 million, driven primarily by growth in console DLC for titles like FIFA 11 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2.

In other digital markets, EA continues to claim the number one spot on the Apple App Store and Windows Phone 7 in Western markets. The company also pointed out that its Scrabble game for Kindle outsold all digital books on Amazon's store in the final week of December.

EA's revenue from games on standard-definition systems, including the Wii, and from its distribution business continued to shrink in the holiday quarter. The company now estimates only 18 percent of their fiscal 2011 revenues will come from these sources, down from 46 percent in fiscal 2009.

[UPDATE: Following a surprise $600 million share buyback plan and predictions that raised the midpoint of its earnings for 2011, according to Reuters, EA's shares were up more than 8% in after hours trading.]

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