(New throughout, adds full-year forecast, executive quotes and
By Malathi Nayak
SAN FRANCISCO Aug 5 Video game maker Activision
Blizzard Inc raised its full-year 2014 forecast, citing
better-than-expected second quarter results and expectations of
strong sales for upcoming titles like "Call of Duty: Advanced
Warfare" and "Destiny."
Shares of Activision jumped 3 percent in after-hours trading
after closing at $22.36 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday.
The Santa Monica, California-based company said robust
digital sales of its "Call of Duty" and "World of Warcraft" game
franchises drove non-GAAP net revenue up to $658 million in the
second quarter from $608 million a year earlier. It beat the
$608 million expected by analysts.
"Digital revenue represented 73 percent of the total for the
quarter and that's a record for us," Chief Executive Bobby
Kotick said in an interview. "We had over-performance in the
quarter and we feel very enthusiastic about the products we are
releasing for the back-half of the year."
"'Advanced Warfare,' the new 'Call of Duty,' I would say
that will be the most successful game of 2014."
Activision, also known for its "Skylanders" games, raised
its 2014 non-GAAP revenue forecast to $4.7 billion and said it
expects non-GAAP earnings of $1.29 per share. It had previously
announced a forecast of $4.67 billion in non-GAAP revenue and
$1.27 per share of non-GAAP income.
The company's second-quarter non-GAAP income, adjusted for
the deferral of digital revenue and other items, was 6 cents,
down 2 cents from a year ago. But it beat Wall Street's average
estimate of 2 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters
Activision's holiday lineup includes "Call of Duty: Advanced
Warfare" the new installment from its hit military-action game
franchise and "Skylanders Trap Team" from its billion-dollar
game franchise for children.
On Sept. 9, it will release its new sci-fi shooter
"Destiny," which has seen a $500 million investment from the
Gamers are responding well to the beta version of "Destiny"
and pre-order numbers are encouraging, Kotick said without
"The audience reaction on 'Destiny' has been extraordinary."
(Reporting by Malathi Nayak; Editing by David Gregorio, Steve
Orlofsky and David Gregorio)