Activision Blizzard Stock Falls After the Bell on Weak Guidance

3:38 PM PST 05/08/2013 by Paul Bond

The maker of video games beat the expectations of analysts in the first quarter, though 1.3 million subscribers abandoned "World of Warcraft."

Activision Blizzard on Wednesday raised its revenue and earnings forecast though not by enough to satisfy Wall Street, sending shares down 6 percent in the after-hours session,

The company said revenue for 2013 will be about $4.25 billion while analysts expected $2 million more, and earnings would amount to about 82 cents per share while analysts were looking for 85 cents.

Analysts also didn't like a decline in the popularity of its World of Warcraft game, which shed 1.3 million subscribers during the quarter to end with a total of 8.3 million.

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The maker of video games like Skylanders and Call of Duty said Wednesday that net income amounted to $456 million in the first quarter, up from $384 million a year ago. Revenue rose 13 percent to $1.32 billion. The results beat the expectations of analysts.

A highlight during the quarter was Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, a game that launched on March 12 and sold 1.1 million units on its first day.

Bobby Kotick, the game-maker's CEO, said that competition from the Internet and from free-to-play games has caused him to rethink business practices.

"We're working to release new content more frequently to keep our players engaged longer and make it easier for lapse players to come back into the game," he told analysts during a conference call.

 

 

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