(Adds CEO comment from conference call, shares)
May 4 Activision Blizzard Inc raised
its full-year adjusted profit and revenue forecasts, and
reported quarterly revenue above estimates, as the videogame
publisher benefited from the popularity of its "Overwatch" game.
The company on Thursday nudged up its full-year adjusted
profit to $1.88 per share from $1.85 and its adjusted revenue
forecast to $6.33 billion from $6.30 billion.
Activision's total adjusted revenue rose 31.7 percent to
$1.20 billion in the first quarter ended March 31, from $908
million a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected revenue of $1.09 billion,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"Among the drivers of our results was 'Overwatch', which now
has over 30 million players globally," Chief Executive Bobby
Kotick said in a statement.
Activision, best known for its "Call of Duty" and "World of
Warcraft" games, released the multi-player futuristic game
"Overwatch" on May 24 last year to rave reviews.
Revenue from the company's high-margin digital business rose
Activision, like rivals Electronic Arts and Take Two
Interactive, has benefited in recent years as players
increasingly prefer downloading games to buying physical discs.
Activision's net income rose to $426 million, or 56 cents
per share, from $363 million, or 48 cents per share in the
Under Kotick, Activision is looking to transform into a
media entertainment giant. The company has set up a film studio,
e-sports and consumer products divisions. The consumer products
unit is headed by former Walt Disney executive, Tim Kilpin.
Activision bought "Candy Crush" maker King Digital for
nearly $6 billion last year, looking for a bigger foothold in
the highly-addictive mobile gaming space.
The company is continuing to make progress with the testing
and development of its ads platform at King, Kotick said on a
post-earnings conference call.
Last week, Activision released a trailer of its latest "Call
of Duty", set in World War II, as the company looks to rebound
from disappointing sales of last year's installment, "Call Of
Duty: Infinite Warfare".
Though early, initial pre-orders for "Call of Duty: WWII"
are off to a very strong start, the company said.
Activision had 48 million monthly active users in the first
quarter, down from a year earlier, largely due to expected
softness from the "Infinite Warfare" release.
The company forecast current-quarter adjusted revenue of
$1.20 billion, largely in line with analysts' average estimate
of $1.19 billion.
Videogame companies are required to defer some revenue from
certain online-enabled games following a tweak to the U.S.
The company's shares, already up about 47 percent this year,
were down slightly in after-market trading on Thursday.
(Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by