Mon, Jun. 8, 11:59 PM
- In a look-ahead to this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, Wedbush has its eye on a number of companies, but none more so than console battlers Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sony (NYSE:SNE).
- The team (Michael Pachter, Nick McKay and Alicia Reese) highlights a few "what to watch" notes for the consoles: price cuts for the current-gen consoles (Xbox 360 and PS3); no price cuts for next-gen (Xbox One and PS4) as they expect the focus will be on new product bundles; a virtual-reality interface-off between the two; and a battle of notable games (and possible exclusives) on each.
- Among game publishers, they're looking to Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) for news about the holiday season release of its next Call of Duty: Black Ops III; Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) and its annual sports titles (with possible surprises from Star Wars: Battlefront), and a high-stakes game from Take-Two rumored to be called Advent.
- E3 begins June 16 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Tue, May 19, 3:11 PM
- Electronic Arts (EA -0.8%) CEO Andrew Wilson says in an SEC filing that mobile chief Frank Gibeau has left the firm after more than 20 years there.
- The mobile team now reports directly to Wilson.
- "Our studio teams have new experiences in development for some of EA’s biggest franchises, powerful new IP like The Minions and Star Wars, and more creative concepts at early stages in the testing process," Wilson writes.
- Monthly active users for the company's mobile games averaged more than 165M last quarter, and mobile revenue set a company record with $524M for the fiscal year.
Fri, May 15, 4:52 PM
- Video game spending was up slightly Y/Y in April, gaining 3% to $595.7M, paced by a 13% increase in physical software sales, according to industry trackers NPD Group.
- That's apart from mixed results in hardware sales -- which were up 12% in unit terms, but declined 4% on a dollar basis to $183.9M, after a round of console price cuts.
- Physical software rose to $256.7M. This month, violent games took the spotlight, with "Fatality"-friendly Mortal Kombat X (NYSE:TWX) the new game topping the chart. It was followed by Grand Theft Auto V (NASDAQ:TTWO) and Battlefield: Hardline (NASDAQ:EA). MLB 15: The Show (NYSE:SNE), another new game, came in at the fourth spot, just ahead of Minecraft.
- GTAV was one of three games that Take Two had in the top 10, along with NBA 2K15 and Borderlands: The Handsome Collection.
- At long last, the Xbox One (NASDAQ:MSFT) took over the top console spot from PlayStation 4 (SNE) despite no big game news to push it; Xbox One sales were up 63% Y/Y.
- Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) says that the Wii U is up 15% for the first four months of 2015 vs. the year-ago period, and 3DS sales up 65% Y/Y for that same period.
Fri, May 15, 4:07 PM
- Senate Bill 9 has been passed by both legislative chambers in Nevada, clearing the way for skills-based casino floor games.
- The development also opens a door for videogame sellers to create or license casino versions of their popular titles.
- The casino industry has its eyes on attracting millennials after seeing the group show tepid demand for classic table games and slot machines.
- New Jersey and Mississippi have also set the stage for casino floor innovation with similar legislation.
- Previously: Paging Steve Nash to the Borgata (Feb. 13)
- Related stocks: CZR, WYNN, SGMS, ISLE, PNK, PENN, MCRI, CNTY, IGT, MGM, BYD, OTCQB:TPCA, ATVI, TTWO, EA.
- Related ETFs: BJK
Tue, May 5, 4:22 PM
- Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) is up 4.4% after hours, following a fiscal Q4 report where it beat expectations for revenue and earnings and finished a record year for net revenue and operating cash flow.
- EA says it reached a three-year goal to double operating margins to 20% a year ahead of schedule.
- Non-GAAP revenue by segment: Digital net revenue, $602M (up 9.5%); Packaged Goods and Other net revenue, $294M (down 19.2%).
- EA noted that during its fiscal year it was the top publisher on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, on the back of Battlefield: Hardline (30M game sessions in Q4), Dragon Age: Inquisition (200M hours played in total) and other games including Madden NFL 15 and FIFA 15.
- The company authorized a new $1B repurchase program for the next two years.
- Conference call at 5 p.m. ET.
- Press Release
Tue, May 5, 4:06 PM
Mon, May 4, 5:35 PM
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Fri, Apr. 17, 5:39 PM
- A new version of popular series Battlefield wasn't enough to boost video game sales in March, as software sales slipped 3% Y/Y to $395.4M. But software was positively solid compared to game hardware sales that slipped 21% Y/Y to $311.1M, according to NPD Group.
- In new retail games, Battlefield: Hardline (NASDAQ:EA), a cops-and-robbers version of the war-game series, led sales charts followed by another new entry, action role-player Bloodborne (NYSE:SNE) which was strong despite being a PS4 exclusive.
- The top five was rounded out by Grand Theft Auto V (NASDAQ:TTWO), Mario Party 10 (OTCPK:NTDOY), and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (NASDAQ:ATVI).
- Physical software sales showed sharp declines for previous-generation consoles, which points to the health of the new generation (PS4, Xbox One, Wii U), whose software sales increased 58% Y/Y.
- In hardware, Sony says PS4 again topped the charts, but everyone's doing well in the new generation: “This is the 17th month of sales for the Xbox One and PS4, whose combined cumulative hardware sales are over 50% higher than the combined 17-month cumulative sales totals for the Xbox 360 and PS3,” said NPD's Liam Callahan.
- In a market down more than 1% today, GameStop (NYSE:GME) did worse, down 3.1%.
- And in other EA news, at the ongoing "Star Wars Celebration" event going on in Anaheim, Calif., today's news included the reveal trailer for Star Wars: Battlefront wowing fans. Launching Nov. 17, the game showcases high-definition visuals but takes a somewhat risky move of dropping single-player missions entirely for cooperative and multiplayer.
Fri, Mar. 13, 5:15 PM
- NPD estimates U.S. physical retail game sales rose 7% Y/Y in February to $338.9M, up from January's 5% growth and better than expected. Hardware sales rose 10% to $378.2M, as next-gen console demand remains healthy. Superdata Research estimates digital game revenue rose just 2% to $995M, thanks to weak mobile and social game sales.
- Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) had a good month: The recently-refreshed 3DS XL handheld was February's top-selling console - Ninetendo says 394K 3DS units were sold - and The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D (launched on Feb. 13) topped NPD's game rankings.
- Take-Two (NASDAQ:TTWO) also did well: Evolve (launched on Feb. 10) was #2 on NPD's list, GTA V came in at #5 (down from January's #3) ahead of its March 24 PC launch, and NBA 2K15 was at #6 (down from #5). Take-Two recently said it was "very pleased" with Evolve's launch.
- Activision's (NASDAQ:ATVI) Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare fell two spots to #4, while Destiny (#9 last month) fell out of the top-10. Electronic Arts' (NASDAQ:EA) Madden NFL 15 and FIFA 15 also dropped out.
- Piper observes Take-Two and Activision's NPD sales were respectively up 72% and 16% Y/Y in February, and that EA's were down 32% over the first two months of 2015. It maintains Overweight ratings on all 3 firms.
- Take-Two rose 3.9% in regular trading thanks to the numbers. GameStop (NYSE:GME) also got a lift, rising 3.5%. Activision rose 0.9% and EA rose 0.4%.
Tue, Mar. 10, 10:41 AM
- With shares having closed yesterday not far from a 52-week high of $58.87 (set on Feb. 26), Needham has downgraded Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) to Hold.
- The gaming giant remains up 13% from where it traded prior to its Jan. 27 FQ3 beat, which was driven by surging digital revenue and cost controls. EA currently goes for ~15x trailing free cash flow.
Mon, Feb. 9, 7:21 AM
- A state senate bill floating around in Nevada proposes to allow more games of skill than chance on the floors of casinos in the state.
- A passage of the bill could set off a flood of new casino games based off of popular videogames.
- Videogames at casinos are seen as a way to draw in more of the 75M millennials who as a group have shied away from slot machines and games of blind luck.
- The potential also exists to introduce gambling through apps for games in Nevada and create cash tournaments online.
- Related stocks: LVS ,CZR, BYD, MGM, WYNN, SGMS, ATVI, TTWO, EA.
Wed, Jan. 28, 12:44 PM
Tue, Jan. 27, 6:28 PM
- Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) is guiding for FQ4 revenue of $830M and EPS of $0.22, below a consensus of $911.6M and $0.26. However, the huge beat posted for EA's seasonally biggest quarter is taking priority.
- EA's packaged goods/other revenue (traditional game sales) fell 31% Y/Y in FQ3 to $755M. But full game download revenue rose 22% to $140M, extra content revenue 47% to $314M, and subscriptions/ad/other revenue 52% to $100M. Mobile revenue grew 13% to $139M.
- Also boosting EPS: Sales/marketing spend fell 21% to $169M. R&D spend rose 3% to $283M. $97M was spent on buybacks.
- Xbox One/PS4 revenue rose 51% to $593M. Xbox 360/PS3 revenue fell 42% to $412M. International markets accounted for 58% of sales.
- FQ3 results, PR
Tue, Jan. 27, 4:05 PM
Mon, Jan. 26, 5:35 PM
Fri, Jan. 16, 10:35 AM
- Activision's (ATVI +6.3%) Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare topped NPD's U.S. physical retail game sale rankings for the second month in a row in December. Destiny, which Activision hopes will be its third $1B+ franchise, was #9.
- In a PR, Activision says Advanced Warfare was the "top-selling console game of 2014 globally," and that Destiny was the #2 2014 U.S. console game in terms of revenue. Skylanders was the top kids video game franchise globally (inc. toys/accessories sales), with a 30% sales edge over its biggest rival (presumably Disney's Infinity).
- Electronic Arts' (EA - unchanged) Madden NFL 2015 rose a spot to #3, and FIFA 15 returned to the top-10 (at #10). Take-Two's (TTWO +1.8%) Grand Theft Auto V was at #2 for another month, continuing to get a lift from its next-gen console and PC launches. NBA 2K15 rose three spots to #5.
- NPD estimates total U.S. physical retail game sales fell 2% Y/Y to $1.25B. Hardware sales, facing tougher comps (given next-gen consoles launched in Nov. 2013), fell 4% to $1.31B, with the Xbox One outselling the PS4. Next-gen consoles are performing 65% better than prior-gen consoles had over their first 14 months. GameStop (GME +3%), just three days removed from reporting better-than-expected holiday sales, is reacting favorably to the numbers.
- Superdata Research estimates U.S. digital game spend rose 11% Y/Y in December to $1.2B. Mobile game sales (35% of 2014 sales) rose 17%, and digital console game sales (8% of 2014 sales) 10%.
- EA reports on Jan. 27, Take-Two on Feb. 3, and Activision on Feb. 5.
- Previously: NPD's November data
- Update (2:15PM): EA is now up 1.8%, aided by a 0.8% increase for the Nasdaq. Activision is now up 9.2%, Take-Two 4.2%, and GameStop 4.5%.
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