Activision Blizzard's fourth-quarter income beats Street view

SAN FRANCISCO Thu Feb 6, 2014 4:59pm EST

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Video game maker Activision Blizzard Inc reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter income driven by strong sales of its "Call of Duty" titles during the holiday period.

The shares rose 7 percent in after-hours trading after closing at $17.17 on the Nasdaq on Thursday.

For the first quarter ending March 31, the videogame maker forecast a profit below industry analyst targets, calling for earnings, excluding items, of 9 cents a share, versus an average forecast of 11 cents a share.

The company's fourth-quarter non-GAAP income, adjusted for the deferral of digital revenue and other items, of 79 cents was a cent higher than a year ago. Wall Street's average forecast was 73 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company, also known for its "Skylanders" games, said non-GAAP revenue, adjusted for the deferral of digital revenue and other items, dropped 13 percent to $2.27 billion from $2.6 billion a year ago. This was in line with Wall Street analysts' expectations of $2.22 billion.

(Reporting by Malathi Nayak; Editing by Leslie Adler and Chris Reese)

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