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EA Sports FC, Madden have EA posting full-year growth despite sleepy Q4

Publisher forecasts revenue decline for coming year, commits to three-year, $5 billion stock repurchase program

Electronic Arts today released its earnings report for Q4 FY24 (the three months ended March 31, 2024), showing sales down during a quiet fourth quarter even as the bottom line improved year-over-year.

For the full year, EA's top-line numbers were up modestly while the bottom line improved more significantly.

Q4 numbers

  • Revenue: $1.78 billion (down 5% year-over-year)
  • Net income: $182 million (compared to a $12 million loss in last year's Q4)
  • Net bookings: $1.67 billion (down 14% year-over-year)

Full-year numbers

  • Revenue: $7.56 billion (up 2% year-over-year)
  • Net income: $1.27 billion (up 59% year-over-year)
  • Net bookings: $7.43 billion (up 1% year-over-year)

The highlights

Electronic Arts revenues and bookings were down in the fourth quarter, with some of the decline attributable to an empty release slate. Last year's first quarter saw the debut of the Dead Space remake and EA's Koei Tecmo collaboration Wild Hearts.

That said, the company did see declines across both its full game sales (down about 10% to $333 million) as well as its live service revenues (down 4% to $1.78 billion).

In comments to investors, EA focused instead on its full-year numbers, which showed growth in all key metrics.

"This year, EA delivered bigger, bolder world class entertainment that engaged and connected hundreds of millions of players and fans," said EA CEO Andrew Wilson.

"We will continue to build on this strong momentum through an incredible pipeline of new experiences, starting with College Football in FY25, positioning us for accelerated growth in FY26 and beyond."

EA said its net income growth was largely driven by the EA Sports FC and Madden NFL franchises. The pair also figured prominently in keeping the company's revenues growing, as the franchise formerly known as FIFA saw full-year net bookings grow by a percentage in the high teens, while Madden bookings were up 6% year-over-year.

The company also announced plans for a new stock repurchase program that will see it buy back $5 billion in shares over the next three years, or about $1.66 billion a year.

That's a step up from the $1.3 billion in repurchased shares it has made in each of the past three years.

Looking ahead, EA expects the new financial year to be a bit leaner, with revenues down as much as 6%, between $7.1 billion and $7.5 billion, while net income drops between 14% and 29% to somewhere between $904 million and $1.09 billion.

Net bookings could turn out for the better, with a forecast range covering from a drop of 2% ($7.3 billion) to growth of 4% ($7.7 billion).

The first quarter could be particularly rough given a tough comparison against last year, when the publisher launched Star Wars: Jedi Survivor, Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth, PGA Tour, F1 23, and Super Mega Baseball 4.

By contrast, this year's first quarter includes Tales of Kenzera: ZAU and F1 24.

EA is projecting first quarter revenues to be down 13% to 18%, ending with somewhere between $1.58 billion and $1.68 billion, while net income could drop 40% to 51%, finishing the quarter with between $197 million and $243 million.

Net bookings for the first quarter are expected to be down from 21% to 27%, ending the three months between $1.12 billion and $1.26 billion.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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