Video game maker Activision Blizzard reported fourth-quarter and full-year earnings after the market close Thursday.
Fourth-quarter EPS of $1.21 came in ahead of the Street consensus estimate of $1.18.
The company said it saw better-than-expected benefits thanks to fundamental changes for its core franchises and strong premium content revenue.
Strong Video Game Franchises: The company’s quarterly and full-year results were led by the strength of the Call of Duty, Blizzard and Candy Crush franchises.
Call of Duty saw a record year in fiscal 2020 and had 100 million monthly active players. Net bookings for Call of Duty nearly doubled year-over-year for the full fiscal year.
The Call of Duty franchise saw the highest number of Battle Passes sold since the introduction of the premium offering in late 2019.
“Call of Duty: Mobile” had double-digit growth for net bookings. Monthly players for the game hit their strongest levels in the fourth quarter. The mobile game was launched in China in December and quickly topped the top downloaded games chart.
The World of Warcraft franchise increased monthly active users for the sixth consecutive quarter. Monthly active users were 29 million in the fourth quarter.
The mobile gaming division of King had its best fiscal year since it was acquired by Activision Blizzard.
Monthly active users were 240 million to end the fiscal year. Candy Crush had strong in-game spending, increasing net bookings in the fourth quarter at a double-digit year-over-year rate. The game remained one of the top-grossing games in the U.S. for the fourth quarter.
What’s Next: Activision Blizzard is guiding for non-GAAP revenue to hit $8.23 billion in fiscal 2021. Adjusted EPS is estimated at $3.34 for the next fiscal year.
First-quarter guidance calls for revenue of $2.02 billion and EPS of 84 cents.
ATVI Price Action: Shares of Activision Blizzard were trading 4.23% higher to $96.60 in Thursday's after-hours session, surpassing the stock's 52-week high of $95.87.