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Activision forecasts 2020 revenue below estimates

Feb 6 (Reuters) - Activision Blizzard Inc forecast full-year adjusted revenue below Wall Street targets on Thursday, offering a conservative outlook for a period analysts were looking forward to with gaming console launches expected later this year.

The company forecast 2020 adjusted revenue of $6.73 billion, below the average analyst estimate of $6.92 billion.

A number of Wall Street analysts had already predicted conservative initial estimates for the full year, in line with the company’s historical approach of being cautious with its outlook.

Microsoft Corp’s “Xbox Series X” and Sony Corp’s “PS5” gaming consoles are expected to be launched in the holiday season of 2020.

Activision, which is behind popular franchises such as “Diablo” and “World of Warcraft”, reported fourth-quarter adjusted revenue above estimates, riding on the success of its blockbuster title “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare”.

The game, 2019’s best-selling title according to data from research firm NPD, offered a wide range of free content in December, including new multi-player maps, to increase user engagement.

Total adjusted revenue came in at $2.71 billion for the quarter ended Dec. 31, beating the average analyst estimate of $2.68 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net income fell to $525 million, or 68 cents per share, from $685 million, or 89 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 62 cents per share.

Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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