EA posts $381 million loss, blames MoH for "soft" holiday outlook

By on October 31, 2012, 5:00 PM

EA has posted a loss of $381 million on revenue of $711 million for its fiscal second quarter ending in September, down from a $340 million loss on revenue of $715 million in the year-ago period. Despite those seemingly grim figures, the company's performance exceeded analysts' expectations.

That doesn't seem to be the case for the third quarter, however, as the publisher believes it will post a profit of $0.50 to $0.60 per share on revenue of $1.25 billion to $1.35 billion, which falls short of the profit of $0.71 per share on $1.38 billion in sales that analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected.

In an investor's call, the company acknowledged that its third quarter "appears soft," and this is largely blamed on the weak critical reception of its latest modern military shooter, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, which currently has a Metacritic score of 51 to 56 depending on the platform.

EA also cited the recent cancellation of NBA Live 13, which was supposed to launch on Xbox Live Arcade as a downloadable product for $20 but was reportedly shelved for not being up to par with the quality of the company's other sports franchises.

Said sports titles were the primary reason EA topped second-quarter expectations, with FIFA 13 and Madden NFL 13 being the western world's two top-selling games in September. The former logged 7.4 million sales during its first four weeks of availability, marking EA's all-time biggest sports launch, while the latter has seen a 30% year-over-year increase in total online game sessions and has sold 9% more copies than its predecessor in the same period (specific numbers weren't provided). Other highlights and metrics include:

  • EA was the #1 publisher in the Western World in calendar year 2012 to date, with five of the top seven titles.
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted launches this week with great reviews. IGN and Game Informer awarded Need for Speed a 9 out of 10.
  • FIFA digital net revenue generated over $115 million in the first half of fiscal 13, including FIFA Online 2 and FIFA World Class Soccer that together contributed over $50 million.
  • Battlefield 3 Premium service has sold over 2 million subscriptions to date, up from 1.3 million in late July.
  • The Simpsons: Tapped Out has been a top grossing iOS game for the past four weeks, was the #1 application in 54 countries, including the US, UK and Germany, and recently logged a record-high of 2.8 million daily active users.
  • EA's games and services for mobile have generated a 60% year-over-year increase in digital net revenue.
  • Catalog continues to outperform with Battlefield 3 and FIFA 12 together selling through nearly 4 million units in the first half of the fiscal year.
  • Trailing twelve-month non-GAAP digital net revenue was a record $1.44 billion.
  • Trailing twelve-month operating cash flow was $490 million, a $183 million improvement from the prior quarter.
  • EA repurchased $108 million of shares in the second fiscal quarter pursuant to a $500 million Share Repurchase Program announced on July 31, 2012.
  • Origin has registered over 30 million users, including 13 million mobile users, and has signed agreements with 71 independent developers.

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