Majesco Entertainment (Nasdaq: COOL ) knows that it has to do better.
The video game publisher posted uninspiring quarterly results last night. Revenue slipped 5% to $30.4 million, though that's better than the nearly 7% slide that analysts were expecting. Adjusted earnings, on the other hand, fell to $0.07 a share, short of both the $0.13 a share it served up a year earlier and the $0.08 a share that Wall Street was targeting.
Putting out video games is a lumpy business ripe for longer comparative periods. Releases get shuffled about, and even a modest hit for a company as small as Majesco can be material. Revenue has actually moved 20% higher through the first six months of fiscal 2012, though profitability has gone the other way.
Consumers know Majesco for its kid-friendly Cooking Mama handheld games and its licensed Zumba Fitness console line that has sold more than 7 million copies, leading Majesco to claim that it's the second-best-selling fitness franchise in the video game business.
However, the company's future may lie in thinking outside of the Wii and Xbox. Last month the company rolled out Mini Putt Park on Facebook (Nasdaq: FB ) , where players build their own miniature golf courses.
Majesco is no Zynga (Nasdaq: ZNGA ) . Social gaming leader Zynga attracts 32.4 million players on Facebook to CityVille and another 21.4 million monthly gamers to FarmVille. Majesco has less than 60,000 Mini Putt Park players. However, you have to start somewhere. Given the viral nature of Facebook games, things can catch fire pretty quickly in a short time. Thankfully, Facebook publishes the exact number of gamers for every app, so we know that Mini Putt Park was drawing 58,641 players as of last night.
The company's release slate also finds it branching out into Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) App Store later this year. Sci-Fi Heroes and Legends of Loot are scheduled to be introduced as iOS games during Majesco's fiscal fourth quarter ending in October. Cheap or free ad-supported games are a far cry from the Majesco handheld and console games that put it on the map, but it's doing the right thing in going where the mainstream gamers are.
The current quarter will be pretty bare. There are just a pair of small Zumba releases and last month's Facebook debut on the slate. Things will get more interesting in the fourth quarter when NBA Baller Beats, Zumba Fitness Core, and Harley Pasternak's Hollywood Workout are just some of the releases to watch alongside the company's App Store debut.
A whopping 86% of Majesco's sales came from Nintendo (OTC: NTDOY) titles during the first quarter, but Majesco is evolving just as gamers are moving on to new screens and experiences.
This past quarter was nothing special for Majesco, but the upside -- and downside -- of its more diversified future will give the stock quite the workout.
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