Ubisoft raises full-year targets following strong third quarter
Assassin's Creed and Just Dance meet expectations, Ghost Recon Future Soldier slips
Ubisoft has raised its full-year revenue targets following strong third quarter sales for Assassin's Creed: Revelations and Just Dance 3.
The French publisher estimates third fiscal quarter revenue of €650 million, significantly higher than the €580 - €620 million outlined in its financial report for the first half of the year.
As a result, Ubisoft has increased its full-year revenue target from €1.04 - €1.08 billion to €1.05 - €1.08 billion. Operating income is expected to be €45 - €65 million, versus the previous estimate of €40 - €60 million.
"Against an extremely competitive backdrop, we were able to reach an ever-wider audience thanks to the quality of our games and our capacity to create brands for both hardcore and casual players," said CEO Yves Guillemot in a statement.
"Assassin's Creed Revelations posted a solid performance, in line with our forecasts, and Just Dance generated outstanding sales. The quarter also saw an ongoing increase in our online sales."
The company has also postponed the release of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier until the first quarter of fiscal 2012-13. It was initially scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011-2012.
"These extra few months will allow Ubisoft's creative teams more time to refine the experience and deliver a game that fully achieves the level of excellence that defines the Ghost Recon franchise," Guillemot said.
However, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter expressed concern that the lack of clarity in Ubisoft's release strategy is hurting its share price.
"In our view, Ubisoft's share price continues to be hindered by an unclear release schedule with recurring delays," Pachter said. "Until the company provides and adheres to a detailed long-term release schedule, we expect Ubisoft's stock to continue to trade at a discount to larger, more dependable peers."
Ubisoft will publish its final third quarter sales figures on February 15, 2012.