AP News

Video game maker EA's 3Q sales, outlook disappoint

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) — Electronic Arts' holiday-quarter sales and its outlook for the current period disappointed investors, and the video game maker's shares dropped in extended trading.

The Redwood City, Calif., company makes the "Madden NFL 25" and "Battlefield 4" video games. It said sales of new titles were strong, thanks to a boost from the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles, which were released in late November. But sales of games for older consoles declined more than expected.

The Redwood City, Calif., company posted a loss of $308 million, or $1 per share, in its fiscal third quarter, wider than its loss of $45 million, or 15 cents per share, in the October-December period in 2012. Factoring in online sales, adjusted earnings more than doubled to $398 million, or $1.26 per share. That beat the $1.23 per share expected by analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue dropped 12 percent, to $808 million from $922 million. Using another closely watched industry metric, however, adjusted sales rose 33 percent, to $1.57 billion from $1.18 billion. But the company had expected a bigger gain, to $1.65 billion, while Wall Street analysts predicted $1.66 billion.

The adjusted figure accounts for the effects of deferring revenue and the related costs of sales for games with online components.

For the current quarter, which runs through March, Electronic Arts expects revenue of $800 million and earnings of 9 cents per share. Analysts predicted revenue of $828 million and earnings of 10 cents per share.

Shares fell 57 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $24.30 in after-hours trading.

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