EA's stock lost nearly ten per cent of its value in trading on the NASDAQ yesterday, dropping 8.34 per cent to 17.15 from 18.74.
The drop follows a brief rally in after hours trading on Monday, which was interpreted as a positive reaction to the news of John Riccitiello's departure. Since then, investors seem to have reconsidered the news, alongside a sales warning from the embattled publisher, resulting in the biggest price slide for the company's stock in nineteen months.
However, the drop still leaves EA's stock in a better position than it was at the start of the year, where it opened at 14.5 before climbing steadily to a year to date high of 19.34 on March 14. A year ago today, stocks were roughly at the same point, closing at 17.01 on March 20, 2012.
"We believe the move and the sales warning could be a sign of tougher challenges ahead," commented Needham & Co analyst Sean McGowan. "Mr. Riccitiello's departure comes after a series of setbacks, and underscores the industry's difficult transition to new platforms, business models and genres."
EA has endured a series of high-profile disappointments recently, including below expectation performance for the Medal of Honor and Dead Space franchises and the Star Wars: The Old republic MMO as well as the high-profile problems and public backlash surrounding the server problems and poor reviews which accompanied the launch of SimCity.