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Activision Blizzard earnings ahead of targets

March quarter revenues expected to exceed earlier estimates of $860 million

Activision Blizzard has announced that its March quarter net revenues and earnings per share are ahead of prior targets.

The publisher had estimated that the quarter would see USD 860 million in net revenues and earnings per share of USD 0.08, but Activision now says its results will be higher than expected - although it offered no new predictive figures.

"Global consumer response to the Call of Duty and Guitar Hero franchises and Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft remains strong despite the challenging economic environment," said Robert Kotick, CEO. "We exceeded our quarterly financial goals as the videogame market continues to grow and our franchises continue to perform.

"This bodes well for our upcoming spring titles Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, which are inspired by theatrical feature films releases, Prototype, a new intellectual property, and the release of Guitar Hero Smash Hits as well as continued sales of our recently released Guitar Hero Metallica game."

Kotick also commented on today's announcement that NetEase would be taking over the Chinese operation of World of Warcraft from The9.

"We believe this new relationship will promote a consistent level of quality and service in mainland China for each of the games that Blizzard Entertainment is partnering with NetEase on, including Warcraft III and StarCraft II, as announced last year.

"In addition, we believe this new relationship positions us well for the long-term, and despite the near-term impact of the transition, we are reaffirming our calendar 2009 financial outlook."

Activision has predicted net revenues of USD 4.2 billion for the full financial year, and earnings per share of USD 0.22.

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