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.
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
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%.
Dec. 12, 2014, 10:39 AM
- Though Activision's (ATVI -1.5%) Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was (as expected) #1 in NPD's November U.S. physical retail game sale rankings, Call of Duty franchise sales were down 27% Y/Y and Activision's total sales down 22%.
- That has led Piper to slash its Activision target by $3 to $24. "Strength in the Blizzard side of the business (WoW & HearthStone) should allow for an in-line Q4, but we are slightly lowering our estimates to now be in-line with company guidance."
- Take-Two (TTWO +3.3%), meanwhile, has rallied towards its 52-week high after Grand Theft Auto V (recently become available on the Xbox One, PS4, and PCs) ranked #2. NBA 2K15 was #8, down one spot from October. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel fell out of the top-10.
- Electronic Arts' (EA +0.5%) Madden NFL 15 rose four spots to #4, but FIFA 15 fell out of the top-10. BofA/Merrill has hiked its targets (I, II) for both EA and Take-Two following NPD's numbers: It's optimistic EA can continue growing margins thanks to growing digital sales and cost controls, and argues Take-Two deserves a multiple similar to EA and Activision's.
- NPD estimates total U.S. physical game sales fell 2% Y/Y in November to $1.09B, a much smaller drop than October's 27%. With next-gen consoles having launched a year ago, hardware sales fell an estimated 23% to $1.01B, with the Xbox One (1.2M sales) outselling the PS4 following a $50 early-November price cut.
- Wedbush's Michael Pachter thinks game sales growth may have been positive after accounting for downloads and the frequent bundling of games with consoles. Meanwhile, Superdata Research estimates total digital game spend rose 23% Y/Y during the Thanksgiving period.
Nov. 18, 2014, 12:47 PM
- Citing the company's digital revenue growth and cost-cutting efforts, Barclays' Christopher Merwin has launched coverage on Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) with an Overweight rating and $48 target.
- Merwin: "EA has been proactive in adding new, high-margin digital revenue streams, while simultaneously cutting costs and rationalizing its product pipeline to drive margin expansion.
- He also argues digital content such as the Ultimate Team features for FIFA and Madden titles is "helping EA to increase the engagement levels of its player-base, a trend that should improve revenue visibility for EA's core titles and eventually transform the console-game publishing business into a higher multiple subscription model with less volatility."
- Shares have made new highs, and are up 86% YTD.
Nov. 14, 2014, 5:35 PM
- After coming in at #1 in NPD's September U.S. retail video game rankings (following a blockbuster Sep. 9 launch), Activision's (NASDAQ:ATVI) Destiny fell to #5 in October. Take-Two's (NASDAQ:TTWO) NBA 2K15, which launched on Oct. 7, took its place at the top.
- Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, launched by Take-Two on Oct. 14, was #4. Skylanders Trap Team, which Activision released on Oct. 2, was #6.
- Electronic Arts' (NASDAQ:EA) FIFA 15 and Madden NFL 15 were #7 and #8, down from #3 and #2 in September. The Sims 4 fell out of the top-10, as did Activision's Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.
- Altogether, NPD estimates U.S. physical retail game sales fell 27% Y/Y to $350.3M. They were down 36% in September, thanks in part to tough comps caused by last year's GTA V launch. Xbox One/PS4 demand led console sales to rise 59% to $273.6M; Microsoft cut One prices by $50 early in November.
- The digital transition continues: SuperData Research estimates U.S. digital game spending rose 12% Y/Y in October to $957M.
- Activision's Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare launched on Nov. 3, and should be at or near the top of NPD's November rankings. Metacritic gives the game a score of 77/100.
- ATVI -1.2% in regular trading. TTWO +2.5%. EA +0.1%.
Oct. 28, 2014, 4:32 PM| Comment!
Oct. 28, 2014, 4:06 PM
Oct. 17, 2014, 1:55 PM
- With last year's Grand Theft Auto V (TTWO +0.3%) launch skewing comps, NPD estimates U.S. physical retail video game sales fell 36% Y/Y in September to $481.2M, a worse decline than August's 21% drop.
- The ongoing spending shift towards digital channels naturally contributed to the drop as well: SuperData Research estimates digital game spend rose 8.6% Y/Y in September to $873M.
- Hardware spend rose 136% Y/Y (up from August's 116%) thanks to next-gen console demand: NPD thinks PS4 sales nearly tripled from August levels with the help of Sony's (SNE +1.8%) Destiny bundle, and outpaced Xbox One sales yet again. GameStop (GME +2.7%) investors approve of the numbers.
- Electronic Arts (EA +4.5%) is rallying after Madden NFL 15, FIFA 15, NHL 15, and The Sims 4 respectively came in at #2, #3, #6, and #8 on NPD's top-10 list. Of the four games, only Madden was on the August list (#1 in its launch month). Battlefield 4 (#9 in August) fell out of the top-10.
- As expected, Activision's (ATVI -0.5%) Destiny was #1. But Diablo III: Reaper of Souls fell to #10 from #2, and Call of Duty: Ghosts (#5 in August) dropped out of the top-10. Activision, like Take-Two, is sitting out a market rally.
- EA reports on Oct. 28, Take-Two on Oct. 29, Sony on Oct. 31, and Activision on Nov. 4.
Jul. 22, 2014, 4:05 PM
Jul. 18, 2014, 5:37 PM
Jul. 18, 2014, 2:07 PM
- After rising 57% Y/Y in May due to new game launches, U.S. retail physical game sales fell 3% in June to $286.8M, per NPD. But with June 2013 having a stronger launch title lineup, that figure was better than expected. Sales were also still up over 4% from a May level of $274M.
- Ubisoft's (OTCPK:UBSFY) Watch Dogs was the top-selling title for the second month in a row. Electronic Arts' (EA +3.1%) UFC (launched on June 3) was #4, and FIFA 14 (receiving a World Cup boost) was #5. Titanfall (#8 in May) fell out of the top-10.
- Activision's (ATVI +1.2%) Call of Duty: Ghosts rose 2 spots to #8. But The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (#6 in May) dropped out of the top-10.
- Take-Two's (TTWO +4.1%) NBA 2K14 (boosted by playoff interest) rose a spot to #6, and GTA V came in at #10. Nintendo's (OTCPK:NTDOY) Mario Kart 8 and Tomodachi Life were respectively #2 and #9.
- With the help of Microsoft's cheaper Xbox One package, hardware sales rose 106% Y/Y to $292.7M. Together with the software numbers, that's providing a lift to GameStop (GME +4.4%).
- EA reports on July 22, while Activision and Take-Two both report on August 5.
Jun. 17, 2014, 1:59 PM
- Thanks to new game launches, U.S. retail physical game sales (just a subset of total game sales) rose 57% Y/Y in May to $274M, says NPD. That represents a big turnaround from April's 10% drop, and March's 27% decline.
- Ubisoft's (UBSFY) Watch Dogs, which sold 4M units worldwide in its first week, was the top-selling title. After holding the top spot the last two months, Electronic Arts' (EA +2.9%) Titanfall fell to #8.
- Activision's (ATVI +1.7%) The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was #6, up two spots from April, and Call of Duty: Ghosts was #10 (down from #2). Take-Two's (TTWO +3.6%) NBA 2K14 was #7 (down from #3).
- EA and Activision are making fresh 52-week highs. Take-Two isn't far removed from its 52-week high of $22.41.
May. 7, 2014, 12:48 PM
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