Electronic Arts Inc.
 (EA)

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  • Fri, Jan. 29, 9:39 AM
    • Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) has opened 5.5% to the downside, the day after a postmarket decline as a solid quarter was overshadowed by Q4 guidance.
    • Credit Suisse has maintained its Outperform rating on shares, but trimmed its price target to $85, from $90 -- still 21.8% upside from yesterday's close of $69.79. The company's revenue was in line with CS estimates while EBITDA and EPS beat.
    • Analyst Stephen Ju blames foreign exchange and a holiday shift to packaged goods sales vs. digital for the dim quarterly forecast. But news that Star Wars: Battlefront has already exceeded its March 2016 goal of 13M units promises "a new franchise that will continue to generate shareholder value," and he's looking to a powerful slate ahead.
    • “For FY17 we lower our estimates as we flow thru greater FX headwinds, take a more conservative stance on Mirror's Edge, and ramp R&D dollars," Ju writes. "We note that next FY will bring the return of Battlefield, Mass Effect, and potentially also Titanfall in one year.”
    • Previously: EA call: Gifting and mix shift; E3 pullout about getting closer to players (Jan. 28 2016)
    • Previously: More from EA's Q3: Record cash flow, strong packaged revenues (Jan. 28 2016)
    • Previously: EA slides 11% despite profit beat, strong 'Star Wars' game numbers (Jan. 28 2016)
    | Fri, Jan. 29, 9:39 AM | 1 Comment
  • Fri, Jan. 29, 9:15 AM
    | Fri, Jan. 29, 9:15 AM
  • Thu, Jan. 28, 6:17 PM
    • With a little more after-hours volume under its belt, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) is now down just 7.9% following its earnings conference call.
    • CFO Blake Jorgensen confirmed that the mix shift that led to physical sales jumping 35.5% (vs. 16.5% for digital) benefited from the big role of holiday gift-giving. Star Wars: Battlefront in particular "skewed even more physical than we anticipated," though gifters love to have a wrapped package under the tree rather than a digital code.
    • In addition, units of the game bundled with consoles are counted as physical units even though they're distributed as digital code. About 1M of the 13M-plus units sold of Battlefront came in console bundles.
    • As for already surpassing the 13M-unit goal they had set for March, the execs noted that Q4 sales of the game might be less than expected since Q3 was obviously much higher. Among the many warnings coming about the current quarter, Jorgensen said foreign exchange would affect Q4 sales by $40M more than last year.
    • Asked about plans to pull out of its prominent role at E3 for a more controlled event, CEO Andrew Wilson said "We see this an as opportunity to get close to our players, invite them in to an environment where they feel comfortable to play games, give us feedback ... we see what we're doing as augmenting the overall E3 experience."
    • Previously: More from EA's Q3: Record cash flow, strong packaged revenues (Jan. 28 2016)
    • Previously: EA slides 11% despite profit beat, strong 'Star Wars' game numbers (Jan. 28 2016)
    • Previously: No EA at E3: Game maker gives up prominent spot for private event (Jan. 27 2016)
    | Thu, Jan. 28, 6:17 PM | 1 Comment
  • Thu, Jan. 28, 5:38 PM
    | Thu, Jan. 28, 5:38 PM | 6 Comments
  • Thu, Jan. 28, 4:30 PM
    • Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) stock is still down significantly, -8.7%, in the wake of a largely solid earnings report.
    • Non-GAAP revenue of $1.803B was above company guidance of $1.775B, but (narrowly) missed consensus expectations for $1.805B, which could explain the sell-off. Operating cash flow of $889M was a best-ever figure for an EA quarter.
    • While the company raised guidance for the full year, its Q4 expectation of non-GAAP net revenue of $875M is short of an expected $916.1M, and non-GAAP diluted EPS forecast for $0.40 trails a consensus of $0.50.
    • Non-GAAP digital net revenue came to $807M, up 16.5%, while packaged goods and other net revenue came to $996M, up 35.5%. (Holiday gifting can contribute to physical sales numbers). The earnings call may shed some light on just how the company quickly surpassed its 13M-unit target for Star Wars: Battlefront.
    • Revenue from live services for key sports franchises (FIFA, Madden NFL and Hockey Ultimate Team) was up 13% Y/Y (up 22% in constant currency).
    • Previously: EA slides 11% despite profit beat, strong 'Star Wars' game numbers (Jan. 28 2016)
    • Previously: Electronic Arts beats by $0.02, misses on revenue (Jan. 28 2016)
    • Previously: No EA at E3: Game maker gives up prominent spot for private event (Jan. 27 2016)
    | Thu, Jan. 28, 4:30 PM | 3 Comments
  • Thu, Jan. 28, 4:12 PM
    • Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) has tumbled 11.9% after hours despite a fiscal Q3 earnings beat and a boost to guidance after strong sales of its key holiday game.
    • Star Wars: Battlefront has already surpassed 13M copies sold -- the number the company had hoped to reach by March. Revenue jumped nearly 26% Y/Y.
    • It boosted guidance for full-year revenue to $4.52B, and EPS guidance to $3.04 from $3.00.
    • Conference call to come at 5 p.m. ET.
    • Press Release
    | Thu, Jan. 28, 4:12 PM | 6 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 27, 6:44 PM
    • Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) won't do a public presentation of its games at E3, the industry's biggest show, opting instead to hold a private event across the street.
    • It's a bit of a trend that EA may be hastening along. The company will still take private business meetings and says its decision isn't meant to show a lack of support for the host, the Entertainment Software Association -- though notably, Sony and Microsoft chose to roll out their next-gen consoles (the PS4 and Xbox One) at events well before E3.
    • The company said it wants its new game info to go directly to fans rather than through the media. (It's open speculation whether middling early reviews of Star Wars: Battlefront might have a lingering effect on the decision.)
    • EA has had one of the most prominent positions among E3 booths, space it may not get back when it returns (if it choose to return at all).
    • Shares closed down 1.9% today, and moved up 0.5% after hours, after Piper Jaffray reiterated an Overweight rating. The firm has an $87.00 price target on shares, implying 25% upside from today's close.
    • Previously: Credit Suisse reiterates Outperform ratings for EA, Activision (Jan. 25 2016)
    • Previously: Electronic Arts up 3.4% as bullish analysts weigh in, BofA upgrades (Jan. 15 2016)
    • Previously: Macquarie: Despite reviews, EA's 'Star Wars' game likely to be big hit (Nov. 18 2015)
    • Previously: EA launches 'Star Wars: Battlefront' to mixed reviews (Nov. 17 2015)
    | Wed, Jan. 27, 6:44 PM
  • Mon, Jan. 25, 4:50 PM
    • After a look at the holiday season, Credit Suisse is still bullish on a pair of videogame makers.
    • The firm's Stephen Ju has reiterated Outperform ratings on Electronic Arts (EA +0.8%) and Activision Blizzard (ATVI -3.3%). He's got a Neutral take on Take-Two Interactive (TTWO -0.1%). Of those, it's EA that hasn't taken a hit over the past month; ATVI is down 10.8% and TTWO down 6%.
    • The firm has maintained its price targets on EA ($90, 29% upside from today's $69.92) and Take-Two ($35, 4% upside from today's $33.61) and bumped its target on ATVI from $40 to $41 (18% upside from today's $34.73).
    • “The biggest changes to the model come for ATVI as we adjust for Overwatch and layer in contribution for KING," Ju writes. "For EA and TTWO we have made only modest adjustments to our near-to-medium term unit volume estimates as the product release slate has not changed materially."
    • Ju estimates Activision will sell 18M units of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 in fiscal 2015, and that EA will still sell 12.85M units of Star Wars: Battlefront in fiscal 2016.
    | Mon, Jan. 25, 4:50 PM | 7 Comments
  • Fri, Jan. 15, 9:51 AM
    | Fri, Jan. 15, 9:51 AM | 6 Comments
  • Thu, Jan. 14, 7:54 PM
    • December marked a strong month for new videogames, though the sum was down slightly Y/Y likely due to drag from older-generation consoles.
    • New games at retail sold at the pace of $3.22B, NPD Group reports, down from 2014's $3.26B. Hardware and software were down, though accessory sales rose 10%.
    • A 4% increase in spending on newest-generation PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Wii U was offset by a 71% drop in PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii hardware. Overall, hardware sales fell 6% Y/Y. Unsurprisingly, December was the best month on record for software for the newest consoles.
    • In U.S. new physical software: December is usually Call of Duty month and this one was no exception, as Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (ATVI +1.6%) won the period, followed by Star Wars: Battlefront (EA +1.7%) and Fallout 4 (Bethesda Softworks). With holiday gifting, the rest of the chart was full of familiar names: Take-Two's (TTWO +0.6%) Grand Theft Auto V, sports games from EA and Take-Two, and Minecraft (MSFT +2.9%).
    • As usual, Sony's (SNE -0.8%) PS4 was the top-selling console. It beat the Xbox One and Wii U (OTCPK:NTDOY -0.7%) in sales in every month except April and October, and it claimed the crown in the two best-selling months of the year (November and December). Sony says it's nearing 36M PS4s sold overall, after 6.4M-plus from this holiday season.
    | Thu, Jan. 14, 7:54 PM | 7 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 13, 8:01 PM
    • MKM Partners likes videogames in its Media & Entertainment outlook for 2016 -- and of those companies, Electronic Arts (EA -3.4%) is its top pick, though it also has praise for peers Activision Blizzard (ATVI -6.1%) and Take-Two Interactive (TTWO -3.3%) in that sector.
    • MKM's joining a chorus noticing EA's strong game slate for this year, and it says the company should also benefit from continuing margin expansion, "which has been fueled by steady gross margin improvement and declining operating expenses," Eric Handler writes.
    • The firm thinks EA can expand EPS growth through mobile sales of its popular game platforms and deploying excess cash in a variety of ways.
    • Aside from gaming, MKM also points to Imax (IMAX -3.8%), theater operator AMC Entertainment (AMC -2.4%) and Time Warner (TWX -0.7%) as picks.
    • Consumer confidence is looking good in the latter stages of the business cycle, it says, and "as a result, we believe companies best positioned to outperform this year are those in the midst of positive content cycles; and operating in more economically resistant segments, particularly video games, for which we have a very bullish outlook."
    • Previously: Electronic Arts +1.4% as Piper stays upbeat (Jan. 13 2016)
    • Previously: Electronic Arts launches subscription service for PC gamers (Jan. 12 2016)
    • Previously: Cowen: Mobile gaming points to big quarter for EA (Jan. 07 2016)
    | Wed, Jan. 13, 8:01 PM
  • Tue, Jan. 12, 8:54 PM
    • Electronic Arts (EA +2.2%) is making a new digital move, rolling out an online subscription plan for PC gamers.
    • The offering, called Origin Access, is an evolution of its existing Origin community/store that boasts 50M members. The new service will charge subscribers $4.99/month and include game previews, purchase discounts and some free older games -- very much like EA Access, its same-priced offering for EA games on the Xbox One.
    • That console version's popularity is what prompted extending it to PCs, EA says. It's taking advantage of a growing move toward digital subscriptions in media, and the evolution of its user base toward digital: Full-game downloads now account for 20-25% of sales, vs. a year-ago 10-15%.
    • Previously: Cowen: Mobile gaming points to big quarter for EA (Jan. 07 2016)
    | Tue, Jan. 12, 8:54 PM
  • Thu, Jan. 7, 4:09 PM
    • Cowen & Co. still loves Activision Blizzard (ATVI -1.4%) among videogame makers, but noted from its December Casual Digital Gaming Monthly survey that Electronic Arts (EA -1.9%) is poised for a "big" quarter in mobile gaming.
    • Most mobile game makers haven't changed position, the survey suggests, but with customer acquisition costs high, the firm expects consolidation ahead (see: Activision's deal to acquire King Digital (KING -0.3%)).
    • EA's mobile share, meanwhile, grew across the board, Cowen notes, and the company may see 50% Q/Q mobile revenue growth when it reports Jan. 26. Madden NFL Mobile actually displaced King's Candy Crush Saga from the No. 3 iPhone spot, and EA saw strength from Star Wars: Galaxy Heroes as well.
    • Previously: Cowen sees strong videogame holiday, with Activision its top pick (Dec. 02 2015)
    • Previously: Activision +2.7% as analysts boost targets on King deal (Nov. 04 2015)
    | Thu, Jan. 7, 4:09 PM | 10 Comments
  • Dec. 11, 2015, 2:49 PM
    • NPD estimates U.S. physical retail video game sales fell 7% Y/Y in November to $993.9M, after having dropped 3% in seasonally weaker October to $349.4M. Aggressively-priced console bundles likely weighed on standalone game sales. Hardware sales rose 11% to $1.12B after being roughly flat in October, and peripheral/interactive toy sales rose 6% to $357.7M after rising 18% in October.
    • Not surprisingly, Activision's (ATVI -3.2%) Call of Duty: Black Ops III was the month's top-selling game, followed by Bethseda's Fallout 4. However, Activision's Destiny: The Taken King fell out of the top-10, after coming in at #7 last month.
    • Electronic Arts' (EA +1.2%) Star Wars: Battlefront, which recently saw a $20 GameStop price cut amid mixed critic and user reviews, was #3. EA also took the #4, #6, and #7 spots via Madden NFL 16, FIFA 16, and Need for Speed. Madden and FIFA were also #4 and #6 last month.
    • Take-Two's (TTWO -1%) NBA 2K16 dropped three spots to #5, while WWE 2K16 fell out of the top-10. Ubisoft's (OTCPK:UBSFY) Assassin's Creed: Syndicate and Just Dance 2016 were #9 and #10; neither was in the top-10 last month.
    • Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Halo 5: Guardians fell from #1 to #8. With Halo 5 providing less of a lift to Xbox One sales, the PlayStation 4 (NYSE:SNE) regained its status as the top-selling U.S. retail console.
    • EA remains green following the data and news the company is entering the eSports market. Activision (like GameStop) is underperforming amid a 1.8% Nasdaq drop, and Take-Two is down modestly.
    • Last month: Black Ops 3 sells $550M in opening weekend
    | Dec. 11, 2015, 2:49 PM | 4 Comments
  • Dec. 11, 2015, 2:12 PM
    • Mattel (MAT +2.9%), Hasbro (HAS +1.1%), Electronic Arts (EA +1.7%), GoPro (GPRO +2.3%), and Spiral Toys (OTCQB:STOY +3.6%) are all ahead of broad market averages.
    • The eclectic group of companies, which share in common that they sell products that are frequently opened on Christmas morning, could be benefiting from a stronger-than-anticipated retail sales report.
    • Previously: Retail sales pick up momentum despite underwhelming Black Friday (Dec. 11)
    | Dec. 11, 2015, 2:12 PM | 7 Comments
  • Dec. 11, 2015, 11:03 AM
    • Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) has formed an EA Competitive Gaming Division (CGD) to take part in the lucrative and growing eSports (competitive gaming) market. COO Peter Moore will now serve as the division's chief, under the title of EVP and chief competition officer.  EA Sports vet Todd Sitrin will serve as SVP and general manager of CGD.
    • EA: "[T]his group will enable global eSports competitions in our biggest franchises including FIFA, Madden NFL, Battlefield and more ... CGD will seek to build a best-in-class program to centralize our efforts with new events, as well as the infrastructure to bring you the world’s preeminent EA competitive experiences."
    • Rival Activision created an eSports division in October. Last year, Amazon bought top live game-streaming platform Twitch, which is often used to broadcast major eSports events. YouTube has also shown an interest in the space.
    • SuperData Research estimates the global eSports market will grow to over $1.9B in 2018 from $749M in 2015. EA is rallying on a day the Nasdaq is down 1.4%.
    • Update: Baird's Colin Sebastian applauds EA's move, and estimates eSports initiatives such as tournaments, ads/sponsorship deals, broadcasting, wagering could boost EPS by $0.20-$0.30 over the next few years.
    | Dec. 11, 2015, 11:03 AM | 1 Comment
Company Description
Electronic Arts Inc develops, markets, publishes and distributes video game software and content that can be played by consumers on various platforms.