You've got to love the consistency of Electronic Arts
The industry bellwether closed out fiscal 2004 with nearly $3 billion in net revenues. That 19% spurt produced a whopping 82% surge in earnings. And where most game developers will be lucky to have a hit or two in any given year, EA produced 27 different titles that sold a million units or more.
It's easy to see why the stock has been a winner since being singled out in Motley Fool Stock Advisor. Heck, you might as well reclassify EA as a consumer nondurable. Kids have little choice but to update their EA Sports titles yearly, while games like The Sims mesmerize folks who can fathom living a different virtual life.
EA is a global champion, too. Save for a dip in Japan, the company registered double-digit gains everywhere. With THQ
Even so, fiscal 2005 is shaping up to be a more modest year. EA is looking to earn between $1.95 and $2.10 a share, meaning profits are expected to climb as little as 4% to as much as 12% over the next four quarters. Revenues, on the other hand, are pegged to climb at least 10%.
Yet, for a company that has traditionally sold at a steep market premium, buying EA for less than 30 times earnings shouldn't be considered pricey. Even if the bottom line will only take baby steps this year, the company's Need for Speed racing title isn't just another of EA's platinum winners. It's a fundamentals mandate.
What is your favorite Electronic Arts game of all time? Mad about Madden? Proud about your Medal of Honor? What is so cool about being a Sim anyway? All this and more -- in the Video & PC Games discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz would guess that only about a quarter of the video games around his house are EA's handiwork. However, they are the titles he winds up playing the most. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story.