On Tuesday, Chinese gaming company Perfect World (NASDAQ:PWRD) shared their first fiscal quarter results. The results, which were reported after hours, came on a day when the shares hit a new 52 week high. The company has had a busy April and May with new releases and pipeline news. Can it send shares higher?
· March 25th: Launched 3D dancing game "Touch" in China
· March 25th: Released expansion pack for "Chi Bi" entitled "Return of the Crouching Dragon"
· April 2nd: Launched "Legend of Chu and Han" in China
· April 18th: Released expansion pack for "Forsaken World" titled "Dissidia"
· April: Released game "Torchlight 2" in Japan
· May 3rd: Released three mobile games in China: "Legend of Chu and Han", "Rise of the Kings", and "Return of the Condor Heroes"
· May 13th: Launch of "Gourmet Adventurer", a cartoon web game
· May 16th: Entered beta testing for MMORP "Saint Seiya Online"
· May 20th: Announced new MMORPG "Holy King" is in development
· May 23rd: Released expansion pack for "Star Trek Online"
Obviously the announcement of the new game "Holy King" stands out and will be talked about in future earnings releases. The MMORPG game is based on an online novel of the same name and will be a proprietary game from the gaming company.
I think the release of "Legacy of Romulus" expansion pack for "Star Trek Online" is a big move. This is the first expansion pack for the game in the United States. "Star Trek Online" is a free to play MMORPG, so Perfect World is capturing the revenue it can from the game. The expansion, which allows gamers to play as a Romulan or Reman, comes around the time "Star Trek: Into Darkness" was in theaters as well. With a third Star Trek film expected in 2016, Perfect World and Cryptic Studios can release several more expansion packs.
In the second quarter, Perfect World will release "Swordsman Online" and "Dota 2" in China. The company will also debut its highly anticipated "Neverwinter" game in the United States. This won't be a huge boost to second quarter revenue, but will lead to third and fourth quarter strength.
Licensing revenue will also see a boost going forward. In May, popular online game "Forsaken World" was licensed and released in Turkey and Vietnam. This adds to the already multiple countries that license this game. In the first quarter, licensing revenue was only $4.9 million, but that should go up the rest of the year with strong debuts in both countries.
First quarter revenue declined to $100.6 million. Net income increased to $21.1 million, despite the decline in revenue. The results beat analysts by a couple of million and fell in line with the company's projections. Online gaming made up $89.6 million in the first quarter. Licensing revenue was $4.9 million and other revenue was $6.1 million.
Back in March, I wrote about the importance of "Neverwinter" for Perfect World. The game is coming from Cryptic Studios, the American subsidiary. "Neverwinter" centers around the famous game "Dungeons and Dragons". The game is scheduled to be released in the second quarter. On April 30th, the game entered into open beta testing in the United States and Europe.
Shares of Perfect World now trade at new 52 week highs, but still trade for less than ten times this year's projected earnings per share. Shares are up 15% in 2013 and 19% since my March recommendation. Analysts expect the company's revenue to decrease 1% in fiscal 2013. The following year, analysts see revenue increasing 13%. Investors should get behind this company before its exciting pipeline plays out. I continue to believe shares can hit the $20 level on the success of future games.