Mobile gaming company Glu Mobile (NASDAQ: GLUU ) once again impressed the Street with its latest first-quarter results. Although the company's guidance was a bit mixed, the long-term prospects of Glu Mobile are quite strong given its recent moves and the projected growth of the mobile gaming market.
According to App Annie, spending on mobile games more than doubled in 2013, and this trend won't be slowing down any time soon. By 2017, the mobile and online gaming sectors are expected to hit $60 billion in revenue, as reported by Digi-Capital. In addition, the fact that Glu generates almost 60% of its revenue from Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL ) iOS platform could be another big growth driver.
Prepare for some "fruitful" growth
According to the company's 10-K, the introduction of the iPad mini was a key growth driver as it spurred the adoption of tablets. As Apple is rumored to launch some exciting devices this year, Glu Mobile can expect an increase in its addressable market.
The most exciting rumor doing the rounds is that Apple is prepping the launch of a 5.5-inch phablet. A phablet from Cupertino could lead to massive upgrades, both from existing iPhone holders and Android customers who have stayed away from the Apple ecosystem so far because of a smaller screen size. Moreover, the phablet market is booming, as according to a Kantar survey, devices with a screen size of more than 5 inches accounted for 40% of shipments.
Hence, this move might increase Apple's sales further, and since higher sales of iDevices mean that more customers will have access to the app store, Glu Mobile will benefit.
The "dash" to the top
But, to tap the fast-growing mobile gaming market and to churn out top grossing games regularly, Glu needs to stay on top as far as the quality of its games is concerned. As such, the company is trying to double the lifetime revenue of its new games released under its existing franchises through improvements in gameplay and other features.
Additionally, Glu is aggressively expanding its existing portfolio of games and recently announced the acquisition of PlayFirst, the creator of popular games such as Diner Dash, Cooking Dash, Hotel Dash, and Wedding Dash. So, Glu would add four successful games to its portfolio after acquiring PlayFirst. These four games have together aggregated more than 750 million downloads across several platforms over the past 10 years.
Glu would start leveraging this acquisition by globally launching a free-to-play Diner Dash game in the fourth quarter.
Bonding with the best
Glu's robust results have been driven by organic means so far. Its different franchises such as Contract Killer, Deer Hunter, Eternity Warriors, Frontline Commando, etc. have been quite successful. Now, the company is looking to add another blockbuster to this list by launching a James Bond title.
In April, Glu entered into an agreement with EON Productions and MGM Interactive to create the first free-to-play mobile game in the history of the Bond franchise. The game is scheduled for launch in the summer of 2015, and could turn out to be a massive long-term growth driver for the company. The James Bond movie franchise has grossed billions in revenue across the globe over the years, and it hasn't been tapped on mobile yet.
Investors can count on Glu to execute this opportunity smartly as it now has some expertise with movie-related titles. In the first quarter, Glu had launched RoboCop, and the title generated $3.5 million in revenue. This was almost 7.5% of Glu's total revenue during the first quarter. It goes without saying that Glu will try to leverage the popularity of the Bond series on mobile, an area where no other game developer has ventured yet, by making aggressive investments.
Glu Mobile has several factors going in its favor. The expected growth in its addressable market due to Apple's new devices, the overall growth of the mobile gaming industry, and the introduction of a popular franchise based on the James Bond series are catalysts that could take the stock to new highs. So, Glu Mobile is still game for growth in the long run.
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