REFILE-EA forecasts fourth-quarter adjusted revenue below estimates

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Jan 30 (Reuters) - Electronic Arts Inc forecast fourth-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates, weighed down by the delayed launch of its basketball title “NBA Live”, while its “Apex Legends” battles “Fortnite” and “PUBG” to attract young gamers.

The videogame publisher behind franchises like “FIFA” and “Battlefield” said on Thursday it expects current-quarter adjusted revenue to be about $1.15 billion, below analysts’ expectations of $1.20 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The disappointing forecast comes at a time when the dominance of console-based game franchises including rivals Activision Blizzard and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc is being threatened by mobile-based, free-to-play games with engaging formats.

In the last quarter, EA said it had postponed the release of “NBA Live” to coincide with the launch of new gaming consoles this year.

However, EA’s third-quarter adjusted revenue edged past analysts’ estimates, powered by a strong launch of “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” during the crucial holiday season.

On an adjusted basis, the company’s revenue jumped 22.9% to $1.98 billion, beating the average analyst expectation of $1.97 billion.

Net income for the third quarter ended Dec. 31 rose to $346 million, or $1.18 per share, from $262 million, $0.86 per share, a year earlier. (Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)