Here’s What to Expect From These Gaming Bigwigs

Electronic ArtsBeleaguered video-game publisher Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) surprised investors on Thursday with a bottom-line beat in its fourth-quarter earnings report. Shares headed into the closing bell up 4.3 percent for the day, adding to an upward trend that began at the end of July.

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The company reported earnings of $0.57 per share, barely edging ahead of expectations of $0.56 per share. However, revenue fell 13.1 percent to $922 million. The results, while mixed, were widely viewed as a positive sign for the company. Economic and industry headwinds have been blowing hard recently, and guidance for 2013 is coming in low.

EA is forecasting revenue in a range between $3.78 and $3.88 billion, a decrease from a previous guidance of $4.05 to $4.20 billion. Earnings guidance was also revised down, from between $1.00 to $1.15 per share to $0.86 to $1.00 per share. This reflects expected volatility related to the rollover of console generations, as well as general softness in the industry…

In turn, analysts have altered their 2013 forecasts to reflect the company’s changes, and have turned their attention to next week, when Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ:TTWO) will report.

Activision will report after the markets close on February 7. Analysts are looking for earnings of $0.72 per share, which would be a 10.1 percent improvement on the year-ago period. Take-Two Interactive will report on February 5 after the markets close. Analysts are looking for earnings of $0.55 per share, which would be a 103.7 percent improvement over the period last year.

Take-Two closed Thursday off 6.8 percent after announcing it would delay the release of the next edition of its flagship franchise Grand Theft Auto.

Electronic Arts Inc. Stock Chart - EA Interactive Chart - Yahoo! Finance

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