Video game publisher Electronic Arts
(EA) posted a $308 million net loss during its fiscal third-quarter ended December 31, 2013. EA called it a "transitional quarter," referring to the fact that both Sony and Microsoft launched next-generation consoles in November. As a result, gamers tempered their spending on software titles for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
The good news for EA is that it seems to be on solid footing going forward. EA was the top publisher on both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, led by Battlefield 4, Madden NFL 25, FIFA 14, and Need for Speed Rivals. And for the month of December, FIFA 14 and BF4 were the two of the top three best-selling titles across all platforms in the Western World, the publisher said.
EA's third-quarter net revenue increased 27 percent year-over-year to $517 million, while trailing 12-month digital net revenue reached a record $1.86 billion. In addition, EA's trailing 12-month operating cash flow was $664 million, the highest it's been since 2005.
"In a transitional quarter, EA delivered EPS results above our guidance driven by strong sales of our next-generation console titles, continued growth in our digital games and services, and financial discipline across the business," said Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen. "For our full year outlook, we are lowering our non-GAAP net revenue guidance to $3.91 billion due to the weakness in current generation software, but we are increasing our non-GAAP EPS guidance to $1.30 due to the improvement in our operating profits."
Looking at the whole picture, EA is a long ways from reaching for the panic button. Industry wide game sales have been trending upwards
for the past several months, and both the PS4 and Xbox One have been selling well, according to the latest data by NPD Group.