Take-Two, Electronic Arts Report Results
Take-Two Interactive and Electronic Arts (EA) posted improved profits in Q3 ended Dec. 31, but the latter’s results were short of analyst forecasts as sales of its “Battlefield V” fell a million units short of company projections.
Take-Two, which last month signed a new multi-year agreement with the NBA for its NBA2K franchise, posted a $179.9 million profit, a six-fold increase from its $25.1 million a year earlier. Revenue soared to $1.28 billion from $480 million on “strong” sales of both NBA 2K19 and “Red Dead Redemption 2”, which was released in October and has sold 23 million units globally to date, CEO Strauss Zelnick said in releasing earnings. Sales of NBA 2K19 are projected to be “flat to slightly up” from its previous version, which sold 10 million units, Zelnick said.
About 12 million NBA 2K19 games are being played daily and consumer recurring spending (virtual currency) on the title increased 39% to $296. 5 million during the quarter, Zelnick said. Net bookings (defined as “revenue from the sale of virtual currency and in-game purchases that is deferred and recognized over a period of time amount spent on virtual purchases, not all of which is immediately recognized as revenue”) were the “highest ever” for the game and Take-Two’s total Q3 net bookings across all its titles jumped 140% to $1.56 billion. Take-Two’s licensing costs (royalties) rose to $48.7 million from $31.4 million.
Take-Two’s NBA 2K eSports league also is scheduled to begin a second season this spring with 21 teams, up from 17 a year ago.
Meanwhile, EA swung to a $262 million profit from a $186 million net loss a year earlier as revenue rose 11.2% to $1.29 billion, short of analyst forecasts for $1.75 billion. Net bookings were $1.61 billion, down from $1.97 billion in the year-earlier period, due partly to flat unit sales of “FIFA 19” compared to the year-earlier quarter. While EA sold an additional 2.4 million units of FIFA 18 overall last year (a World Cup year), converting those players to the new title has been “slower than planned,” CEO Andrew Wilson said.
The shortfall in projected sales of Battlefield V–its release was delayed a month to October – was due partly to its lacking the battle royale mode that has proved popular with Epic Games’ “Fortnite” and other titles. EA will release a battle royale mode for the game in March.
Also in development is “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order,” due in the fall.
Electronic Arts, Blake Jorgenson, CFO, 650-628-1500
Take-Two Interactive, Lainie Goldstein, CFO, 646-536-2842