It was only a matter of time before Glu Mobile (GLUU) stock regained its mojo after disappointing investors with a mixed set of results back in August, and the mobile gaming specialist didn't disappoint -- it recently shot higher after releasing its third-quarter earnings.
Glu Mobile's quarterly numbers blew past estimates as revenue shot up 48% year over year to $158.5 million. This helped Glu post a net income of $13.4 million for the quarter, compared to a loss of $5.1 million in the prior-year period. The huge increase in the company's revenue can be attributed to the sharp jump in bookings it recorded in the second quarter thanks to the success of its new games. Those bookings are now translating into top-line growth for Glu Mobile, while also giving the bottom line a nice shot in the arm.
More importantly, Glu's outlook suggests that it could sustain its momentum and remain a top growth stock.
Glu Mobile will keep firing on all cylinders
Glu Mobile not only delivered terrific third-quarter numbers, but also increased its full-year bookings guidance a second time. The company now anticipates $555.3 million to $560.3 million in bookings overall in 2020, up from its prior estimated range of $538 million to $548 million. Glu's original bookings target for 2020 was between $423 million and $433 million when the year began, indicating that the company's titles have outperformed expectations and encouraged it to boost guidance throughout the year.
Given that Glu Mobile has a great record of turning nearly all of its bookings into revenue, the company seems on track to deliver a huge increase in revenue compared to 2019's figure of $411 million. It anticipates its 2021 bookings to hit $600 million at the midpoint of its guidance range.
The impressive part is that Glu Mobile projects this growth without accounting for the four new games it plans to release next year. Glu Mobile does not include bookings from games that haven't gone online yet into its formal guidance, so it is likely to outperform the initial forecast. Additionally, Glu anticipates its adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) margin to expand between 220 basis points and 420 basis points in 2021, pointing toward further earnings growth.
This nice bump in Glu's margin profile seems achievable because of two reasons. First, its users are spending more money on its titles. Second, Glu is keeping a handle on its operating expenses, as well as user acquisition and marketing expenses.
Last quarter, Glu's user acquisition and marketing expenses came in at $34.5 million, lower than the company's guidance of $36.9 million to $37.9 million. Similarly, its operating expenses of $36.8 million in this latest quarter were lower than the $39 million guidance. Glu Mobile has been able to keep a check on these expenses thanks to its strategy of developing platform-centric gaming titles three years ago that could help it generate long-term revenue with minimal investments.
That strategy has worked well over the years.
Glu's average bookings per daily active user (ABPDAU) increased to $0.54 in the third quarter, compared to $0.40 in the year-ago quarter. Average bookings per monthly active user (ABPMAU) jumped from $2.15 a year ago to $3.50 last quarter. These are the highest figures Glu Mobile has clocked in the past six quarters.
The stock is still a great buy
Glu Mobile stock trades at just 15 times forward earnings. The company exited the third quarter with $318.1 million in cash and just $40.4 million in debt. And as the discussion above indicates, Glu Mobile still has more room for growth.
All of this makes Glu Mobile an ideal bet for investors looking to buy a well-rounded growth stock that's taking advantage of the fast-growing mobile video gaming market.