One of the market's hottest stocks is ready for its quarterly close-up. Glu Mobile (NASDAQ:GLUU) reports fresh financial results shortly after Tuesday's market close. The mobile game publisher has seen its stock nearly quadruple since the start of last year, up a blistering 272% in that time.
Glu Mobile stock hit a four-year high on Friday, and naturally a lot is now riding on the third quarter's performance. Let's size up some of the things that Glu Mobile will need to get right this week if it wants to keep the party going.
1. Bookings guidance needs to keep inching higher
Bookings is a key measure of health for the mobile gaming industry, and Glu Mobile has rewarded investors by jacking up its full-year bookings guidance in every single quarter this year. Glu Mobile's bookings target for 2018 has gone from an initial range of $325 million to $335 million in February to $360 million to $370 million in May. It boosted that goal to between $374 million and $378 million in August.
The beauty of bookings moving higher is that it means that Glu's collection of revenue-generating properties is growing more lucrative with every passing quarter. We saw the same thing essentially play out last year, and this will be Glu Mobile's last update on 2018 until it initiates guidance for next year come February.
2. Growth needs to be more diversified
Glu Mobile has a habit of living and dying by a hot title. We saw this happen in the summer of 2014 with Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, and it's been happening since last year with Design Home as the runaway contributor. The interior-decorating title has been surprisingly sticky with gamers, and it accounted for 38% of the bookings in Glu Mobile's previous quarter.
Glu Mobile has dozens of active titles available, but just three of them -- Design Home, Tap Sports Baseball 2018, and Covet Fashion -- accounted for 76% of the second-quarter bookings. With the licensed baseball app having seasonal springtime appeal, there will probably be even more riding on the success of Design Home this time around. Glu Mobile needs to diversify its revenue streams.
3. Keep the beats coming
We obviously can't ignore the importance of exceeding expectations. Analysts expect an adjusted profit of $0.07 a share for the third quarter. The game developer merely broke even a year earlier.
Glu Mobile's guidance back in August was calling for $94 million to $96 million in bookings for the third quarter, a sequential dip. The 10% to 12% increase since last year's third quarter makes this the weakest growth on that front in more than a year.
Analysts realize that Glu Mobile has been conservative in the past, so they are modeling $96.1 million for the quarter, just ahead of the top of the app developer's own guidance. Expectations are high even in a climate of decelerating growth, and Glu Mobile will need to blast through those targets.