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REFILE-PREVIEW-Game reboots key to future growth as EA seen posting record revenue

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    Feb 1 (Reuters) - Wall Street analysts expect Electronic
Arts Inc to report record quarterly revenue on Tuesday,
as gamers stuck at home due to fresh pandemic-induced
restrictions boosted demand for its sports titles "Madden NFL
21" and "FIFA 21" in the crucial holiday shopping season.
    Investors will also be looking for details on the new
version of its first person shooter game "Battlefield" and
racing title "Need For Speed". Delays in "FIFA" and "Madden NFL
21" updates had hurt the company's sales last year.
    "EA intends to launch 6 next gen games in FY2022, headlined
by a new Battlefield game which is expected to anchor a more
robust CY2021/FY2022 slate," Stifel analyst Drew Crum said,
adding that this year the company did not have a single action
release.
    
    THE CONTEXT
    EA and rivals Activision Blizzard Inc and Take-Two
Interactive Software Inc have benefited from a surge in
videogame sales during the pandemic.
    But faced with fierce competition, publishers need to keep
refreshing their top-selling titles to attract new gamers and
retain old ones. EA's quarterly results will offer a clue on how
its games held up against popular titles such as Activision's
"Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War" and Take Two's "NBA 2K21".
    
        
    THE FUNDAMENTALS
    * The Redwood City, California-based company is expected to
report ​a 20.7% increase in revenue to $2.387 billion from $
1.98 billion a year ago​, according to the mean estimate of 25
analysts, based on Refinitiv data.
    * The analyst mean estimate for Electronic Arts is for
earnings of $2.96 per share. For the same quarter last year, the
company reported earnings of $2.52 per share.
      
    WALL STREET SENTIMENT
    * The current average analyst rating on the stock is "buy"
and the breakdown of recommendations is 20 "strong buy" or
"buy," 13 "hold" and no "sell" or "strong sell."
    * The mean earnings estimate of analysts fell by about 32%
in the last three months.
    * Wall Street's median 12-month price target for Electronic
Arts Inc is $150​, about 4.7% above​ its last closing price of
$143.01. 
  
         
    EARNINGS SURPRISE
 QUARTER       STARMINE    REFINITIV  ACTUAL    BEAT,   SURPRI
 ENDING        SMARTESTIM  IBES                 MET,    SE %
               ATE®        ESTIMATE             MISSED  
 Sep. 30 2020  0.08        0.02       0.05      Beat    102.1
 Jun. 30 2020  0.82        0.79       1.42      Beat    80.5
 Mar. 31 2020  0.99        0.98       1.08      Beat    10.2​
 Dec. 31 2019  2.52        2.51       2.52      Beat    0.4
 
    
 (Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Sweta
Singh and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)
  
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