What happened

Shares of Playtika Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:PLTK) plunged on Wednesday, down by 25% as of 12:30 p.m. EDT. The sharp move lower came after the mobile gaming platform specialist reduced its short-term growth and earnings outlook in its third-quarter earnings report.

Person playing a game on their smartphone.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Sales for the three-month period that ended in late September rose 4% to mark a slight acceleration compared to the prior quarter's 1% uptick. The platform notched a few important operating wins, too, with several of its casual and casino gaming products expanding their player bases.

Playtika also improved on its monetization trends: Conversion rates inched up to 2.8% from 2.6%. Management was especially happy with the company's latest acquisitions and new gaming releases.

"The third quarter presented opportunities for us to make product investments," CEO Robert Antokol said in a press release, "and set the stage for growth in 2022 and beyond."

Now what

Yet Wall Street was more focused on the company's 2021 outlook, which edged down. Antokol and his team now see revenue landing at about $2.57 billion rather than the $2.6 billion they had predicted back in early August. Adjusted earnings will be slightly lower than their previous forecast of $1 billion.

Those are modest downgrades, to be sure. But investors are choosing to take more of a wait-and-see approach to Platika's business as the growth potential becomes clearer over the next few quarters following management's 2021 acquisitions and investments in the content portfolio.

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