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Press Release: Activision Blizzard Announces Fourth-Quarter and 2020 Financial Results

· 02/04/2021 16:14
(in millions, except GAAP Non-GAAP Impact of GAAP EPS) Outlook Outlook deferrals(A) ----------------------- -------- -------- -------------- CY 2021 ----------------------- Net Revenues $8,225 $8,225 $225 EPS $2.83 $3.34 $0.26 Fully Diluted Shares 787 787 Q1 2021 ----------------------- Net Revenues $2,015 $2,015 ($265) EPS $0.59 $0.84 ($0.19) Fully Diluted Shares 784 784 ------------------------ -------- -------- -------------- Net bookings(B) are expected to be $8.45 billion for 2021 and $1.75 billion for the first quarter of 2021.-- In 2020, King delivered its best full year financial performance since the acquisition, ending the year with strong momentum. In-game net bookingsC grew by a double-digit percentage year-over-year in the fourth quarter, with growth accelerating versus the third quarter. -- King's fourth quarter MAUsD were 240 million, and payer numbers continued on a positive year-over-year trajectory. -- King's largest franchise, Candy Crush, exited 2020 with momentum. Players responded positively to new features in the franchise, driving strong growth in in-game spend per player and double-digit year-over-year growth in in-game net bookingsC in the fourth quarter. Candy Crush was once again the top grossing franchise in the U.S. app stores1. -- The Farm HeroesTM and Bubble WitchTM franchises grew net bookingsB year-over-year driven by strong execution across live operations and seasonal events. -- King again delivered robust year-over-year growth in advertising, with net bookingsB from direct brand advertisers and partner networks each growing sharply year-over-year. For the full year, advertising net bookingsB grew nearly 50% year-over-year.-- World of Warcraft saw strong engagement across both the Classic and modern game modes throughout 2020, and full year franchise net bookingsB grew 40% year-over-year, reaching the highest level in nearly a decade. -- World of Warcraft MAUsD grew year-over-year for the sixth consecutive quarter, contributing to overall Blizzard MAUsD of 29 million in the fourth quarter. -- Fourth quarter net bookingsB for World of Warcraft grew sharply year-over-year, driven by strong sales of the Shadowlands expansion, subscriber growth, and high participation in value added services. -- World of Warcraft player and engagement trends since the Shadowlands release are stronger than levels typically seen at this point after an expansion launch. -- On mobile, the first stage of regional testing for Diablo(R) ImmortalTM in December and January was met with very positive feedback and strong engagement metrics. More players will get to experience the game in further rounds of testing ahead of the launch planned for later this year. -- The Blizzard team is looking forward to channeling the spirit of BlizzCon(R) to engage and celebrate the community once again, at BlizzConlineTM on February 19th and 20th, where they will share more about the plans for their franchises.-- 2020 was a record year for the Call of Duty franchise, in which premium and free-to-play experiences across platforms sustained more than 100 million monthly active players and drove franchise net bookings to approximately double the year ago level. -- Full year Call of Duty premium unit sales grew over 40% year-over-year, with a further strong shift to digital downloads. -- In the fourth quarter, Activision had 128 million MAUsD and net bookingsB for the Call of Duty franchise grew by a double-digit percentage year-over-year. -- The November launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War further expanded the ecosystem across console and PC. Year-over-year in the fourth quarter, MAUsD grew approximately 70% and time spent more than doubled. -- Following the launch of the Black Ops Cold War's first season of in-game content and the integrated WarzoneTM experience, unit sell through grew sharply year-over-year in December and January. -- Call of Duty in-game net bookingsC on console and PC grew more than 50% year-over-year in the fourth quarter. To date, the first season of Black Ops Cold War and Warzone content has seen the highest number of battle passes consumed since the introduction of Call of Duty's new in-game system in late 2019. -- Call of Duty Mobile delivered its best quarter yet, with strong double-digit growth in net bookingsB year-over-year. In the fourth quarter, monthly payers in the West reached the highest level yet, with average spend per payer increasing strongly year-over-year. The game also launched in China in late December, quickly reaching the top of the download charts1.Q4 CY ------------------------- --------------- Prior (in millions, except EPS) 2020 Outlook* 2019 2020 2019 -------------------------------- ------ --------- ------ ------ ------- GAAP Net Revenues $2,413 $2,001 $1,986 $8,086 $6,489 Impact of GAAP deferrals(A) $638 $731 $722 $333 ($101) GAAP EPS $0.65 $0.44 $0.68 $2.82 $1.95 Non-GAAP EPS $0.76 $0.63 $0.62 $3.21 $2.31 Impact of GAAP deferrals(A) $0.45 $0.46 $0.61 $0.26 ($0.06) * Prior outlook was provided by the company on October 29, 2020 in its earnings release. Please refer to the tables at the back of this earnings release for a reconciliation of the company's GAAP and non-GAAP results.SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--February 04, 2021--

Activision Blizzard Announces Fourth-Quarter and 2020 Financial Results

Better-Than-Expected Q4 and Full Year Results

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced fourth-quarter 2020 results.

"In a year filled with adversity our extraordinary employees were determined to provide connection and joy to our 400 million players around the world," said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. "They accomplished this as well as generating record financial results for our shareholders. Under difficult circumstances, but with the same conviction and focus, they will continue to do so in 2021."

Financial Metrics

For the year ended December 31, 2020, Activision Blizzard's net revenues presented in accordance with GAAP were $8.09 billion, as compared with $6.49 billion for 2019. GAAP net revenues from digital channels were $6.66 billion. GAAP operating margin was 34%. GAAP earnings per diluted share were $2.82, as compared with $1.95 for 2019. On a non-GAAP basis, Activision Blizzard's operating margin was 39% and earnings per diluted share were $3.21, as compared with $2.31 for 2019.

For the quarter ended December 31, 2020, Activision Blizzard's net revenues presented in accordance with GAAP were $2.41 billion, as compared with $1.99 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019. GAAP net revenues from digital channels were $1.87 billion. GAAP operating margin was 25%. GAAP earnings per diluted share were $0.65, as compared with $0.68 for the fourth quarter of 2019. On a non-GAAP basis, Activision Blizzard's operating margin was 31% and earnings per diluted share were $0.76, as compared with $0.62 for the fourth quarter of 2019.

Activision Blizzard generated $2.25 billion in operating cash flow for the year ended December 31, 2020, as compared with $1.83 billion for 2019. For the quarter, operating cash flow was $1.14 billion, as compared with $918 million for the fourth quarter of 2019.

Please refer to the tables at the back of this press release for a reconciliation of the company's GAAP and non-GAAP results.

Operating Metrics

For the year ended December 31, 2020, Activision Blizzard's net bookings(B) were $8.42 billion, as compared with $6.39 billion for 2019. Net bookings(B) from digital channels were $7.12 billion, as compared with $4.93 billion for 2019. In-game net bookings(C) were $4.85 billion.

For the quarter ended December 31, 2020, Activision Blizzard's net bookings(B) were $3.05 billion, as compared with $2.71 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019. Net bookings(B) from digital channels were $2.34 billion, as compared with $1.88 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019. In-game net bookings(C) were $1.32 billion.

For the quarter ended December 31, 2020, overall Activision Blizzard Monthly Active Users (MAUs)(D) were 397 million.

Selected Business Highlights

Activision Blizzard delivered better-than-expected results in the fourth quarter and is entering 2021 with strong momentum. In 2020, we saw the benefits of fundamental changes to our core franchises, including deeper and more consistent engagement with current and new players across multiple platforms. Much of our growth was driven by strong execution in premium content, in-game operations, expanding our presence on mobile, and ramping new engagement models. We are already seeing the impact of our growth initiatives for Call of Duty(R) , World of Warcraft(R) and Candy Crush(TM) , which we expect to again drive strong results in 2021. And at the same time, we are making significant progress against our development pipeline for other key intellectual properties, which we expect to fuel further growth in 2022 and beyond.

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February 04, 2021 16:14 ET (21:14 GMT)