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3 Reasons Glu Mobile Stock Will Bounce Back Again

By Rick Munarriz - Updated May 8, 2019 at 11:28AM

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There was a lot to like in the mobile gaming publisher's latest quarter despite the stock's 18% plunge on Tuesday.

It was another rough Tuesday for Glu Mobile (GLUU) shareholders. The developer of lifestyle, sporting, and licensed mobile games tumbled 18% after posting poorly received first-quarter results, just as it had suffered a 13% hit three months earlier following another disappointing quarterly outing.

The market may be down on Glu Mobile after back-to-back quarters of double-digit drops, but a fall from grace isn't necessarily permanent. Let's look at three reasons why the company behind Design Home and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is in a good spot to recover from Tuesday's plunge. 

Covers for 10 of Glu Mobile's most popular games.

Image source: Glu Mobile.

1. Glu Mobile's bookings were better than expected

Bookings rose 7% to hit $92.6 million for the quarter, a pace that may not seem very scintillating, but keep in mind that Glu Mobile was targeting just 2% to 4% growth for the period back in February. All three of its biggest games -- accounting for 78% of the mix -- saw year-over-year gains in bookings of 23% or better. 

Glu Mobile did miss on the bottom line. It merely broke even, a rare miss for the mobile gaming specialist, as analysts were modeling a profit of $0.05 a share. However, if you were going to score Glu Mobile at this point in its development cycle, you would expect a top-line beat to outrank a bottom-line miss. 

2. The stock has a funny way of bouncing back 

It's hard to feel sorry for Glu Mobile investors. Even after Tuesday's slide the shares are up 152% since the start of last year. If we push the starting line a year back, investors have been treated to a 373% surge. Glu Mobile has a way of bouncing back, and even after its stumble in early February -- following its uninspiring fourth-quarter performance -- the stock would still go on to hit 11-year highs a month later.  

It's worth noting that the only major analyst move following the report's release was from Michael Olson at Piper Jaffray. He not only reiterated his bullish overweight rating but also raised his price target from $11 to $12 on what he deems to be strong results. The runway is clear for both margin improvement and multiple expansion at this point, and he's not going to join the masses flocking to the sidelines. 

3. Growth catalysts are coming

The largest percentage growth in bookings for its titles was the 49% pop for Tap Sports Baseball, notable because the game comes out just as Major League Baseball pulls out of spring training near the end of the Glu Mobile's first quarter. It's encouraging to see the continued surge in the franchise, especially since Glu Mobile just extended its franchising deal with the league through at least 2024. 

The other two workhorses -- Design Home and Covet Fashion -- continue to grow on a year-over-year basis, but there are reinforcements on the way if one of the "big three" starts to fade, as gaming franchises inevitably do at some point. The pipeline over the next few months has WWE Adventures rolling out later this month, followed by Diner DASH Adventures in July and Disney Sorcerers Arena in August. 

Investors may have been disappointed with the bottom-line miss, sequential weakness in its most popular title, and an unimpressive outlook for the current quarter, but Glu Mobile still boosted its full-year guidance. It now sees $445 million to $455 million in bookings for 2019, $10 million higher than where it was three months ago. That translates into growth accelerating into the high teens for the balance of the year. It wasn't a perfect quarter, but Glu Mobile has recovered from far worse than this week's shortcomings.

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