What happened

Shares of Glu Mobile Inc. (NASDAQ:GLUU) jumped 33.3% in August, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the free-to-play mobile-games specialist announced mixed second-quarter 2017 results but increased its full-year guidance.

More specifically, Glu Mobile's revenue last quarter climbed 42% year over year to $68.7 million -- which was slightly below Wall Street's expectations -- driven primarily by the company's acquisition of Design Home parent Crowdstar late last year. On the bottom line, that translated to a net loss of $23.6 million, or $0.17 per share.

Teenagers lined up on a bench outdoors and looking at their smartphones


So what

At the same time, however, Glu Mobile's bookings grew an impressive 62% year over year to $82.5 million, well above the company's latest guidance for a range $71 million to $73 million. Glu Mobile CEO Nick Earl credited bookings growth primarily to strength from Design Home, MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2017, and Covet Fashion, as well as improved trends from "a number of other key evergreen titles."

"Our game development remains strong as we continue to concentrate on rapid prototyping and an efficient greenlight process that is designed to produce potential hits," Earl added, "while also remaining focused on disciplined growth to improve the bottom line and drive shareholder value."

Now what

As such, Glu Mobile increased its outlook for full-year 2017 bookings to be in the range of $307 million to $312 million, up from $280 million to $290 million previously.

But that's not to say Glu Mobile doesn't still have significant challenges to address. Earl's comments regarding the company's rapid prototyping and ability to "produce potential hits," for example, underscore the inherent difficulty they encounter while trying to keep gamers' attention in the notoriously fickle free-to-play game space. What's more, this was Glu Mobile's seventh straight quarterly loss -- though I'll admit investors should be careful not to underestimate the ability of unprofitable businesses to create shareholder value over the long term.

In the end, it was no surprise to see Glu Mobile stock climb higher on news of its freshly bolstered outlook. But given the tough economics it continues to face, I'm content continuing to watch its progress from the sidelines.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.