Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) shares were down 4% at 10:55 a.m. Friday following the release on Thursday of the video-game giant's fiscal-second-quarter earnings report. Electronic Arts earned an adjusted $0.65 per share on adjusted revenue of $1.146 billion.
Both figures handily beat analyst expectations. Wall Street had been expecting Electronic Arts to earn around $0.45 per share on sales of around $1.10 billion. Let's take a closer look at Electronic Arts' results.
Raising guidance -- again
The negative response to Electronic Arts' earnings report may have been predicated on the company's outlook. Although Electronic Arts raised its full-year outlook for the second time this year, it still fell slightly short of analyst estimates. For fiscal year 2016, which ends next March, Electronic Arts expects to earn an adjusted $3.00 per share on revenue of around $4.5 billion. Analysts had projected Electronic Arts to earn less (around $2.96 per share), but bring in more revenue -- around $4.53 billion.
Next quarter, Electronic Arts expects to earn an adjusted $1.75 per share on adjusted revenue of around $1.775 billion. Analysts had been anticipating earnings of around $1.74 on revenue of around $1.74 billion.
It's worth noting, however, that Electronic Arts' management has been particularly conservative in recent quarters, guiding to numbers that they seem to always handily beat. This quarter, in particular, Electronic Arts crushed its own estimates -- its adjusted earnings per share of $0.65 was well above its $0.40 guidance, while its adjusted net revenue of $1.146 billion was a bit more than its $1.075 billion forecast. Despite the decline, Electronic Arts' shares are up more than 200% in the last two years. Investors may have simply expected more from a company that's been firing on all cylinders.
Dominating the next generation
In the West, Electronic Arts has been the top publisher on both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One this year. Electronic Arts drew particular attention to its annual sports franchises to explain its success -- in particular, strong demand for FIFA and Madden NFL have benefited the company. This quarter, Electronic Arts released three sports titles -- NHL 16, FIFA 16, and Madden NFL 16 -- and monthly average players for the three titles rose 30% on an annual basis.
Revenue from the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 rose 48% on an annual basis, although demand for Electronic Arts' titles on older platforms saw a similar decline. Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 revenue declined 43%, and those consoles now generate less than one-third as much adjusted revenue for Electronic Arts as their successors. Adjusted console revenue in total rose 5% on an annual basis.
Electronic Arts' PC revenue also notably declined, falling 38% on an adjusted basis. This was likely due to the release of the Sims 4 last September -- this year, Electronic Arts had no similar PC title, making a comparison difficult. Adjusted mobile revenue experienced a slight decline, falling 6%.
Digital takes a larger slice of the pie
Electronic Arts' sales from digital channels -- as opposed to physical game discs by traditional retailers -- climbed to 42% of Electronic Arts' adjusted revenue, from 37% in the same quarter last year. Full-game downloads were flat, at 8%, but sales of extra DLC rose to 17% of adjusted revenue (from 13% last year), and packaged goods fell to 58% (from 63% in the same quarter last year). The move to digital is beneficial for the company's margins, and Electronic Arts executives have previously said they intend to eventually derive 100% of their revenue from digital channels.
Overall, it was a fairly boring quarter for the company -- not particularly phenomenal or discouraging. Next quarter, with the important holiday shopping season and the launch of Star Wars: Battlefront, should be more interesting.