Tricia Duryee

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Electronic Arts’ Digital Revenues Hit $833 Million for Full Year to Exceed Forecast

Electronic Arts, the massive videogame publisher, reported solid fiscal year-end results today, including higher than expected revenues from its digital business.

The company was expecting to report digital revenues of $750 million for the year ended March 31, 2011. Instead, digital revenues totaled $833 million, up 46 percent over the year-ago period.

In a statement, EA’s CEO John Riccitello said: “We’re particularly proud of the scale and growth rate of our digital business.”

The company is now forecasting digital revenues of more than $1 billion in fiscal 2012.

Digital revenues mainly include mobile games, digital downloads and social games built by its Playfish subsidiary. It said that mobile revenues in the fourth quarter totaled $70 million, increasing from $55 million in the same period a year earlier.

It does not break out revenues from social games, like Monopoly and Major League Baseball, but the company’s CFO Eric Brown told us in an interview that its cross-platform approach is working with brands such as FIFA, which single-handily generated $100 million in digital revenues in 2011.

He also added that the company’s social gaming revenues more than doubled in 2011, compared to the year earlier.

Its monthly active users, who play social games, totaled 36 million, falling from the year ago period’s 51 million players. That has a lot to do with Facebook changing its policies about how much games could be promoted on the social network. The shift caused many companies’ metrics to fall.

For the year ended 2011, the company’s net loss was $276 million on revenues of $3.6 billion. In the fourth quarter, the company’s non-GAAP net revenue was $995 million, exceeding guidance of $850 million to $950 million. It reported a quarterly profit of $151 million or 45 cents a share.

The company’s stock is trading down in after hours, falling $1.13 a share, or roughly 5.7 percent, to $18.79 because of a weaker than expected outlook.

Non-GAAP revenue is expected to be down, ranging between $910 to $950 million, and non-GAAP earnings is expected to fall between a wide range of 44 and 53 cents a share.