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The force is with EA: Stock spikes thanks to Star Wars

An employee tests a video game at the Electronic Arts (EA) Tiburon facility in Orlando, Florida.
Edward Linsmier | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An employee tests a video game at the Electronic Arts (EA) Tiburon facility in Orlando, Florida.

Shares of Electronic Arts jumped nearly 14 percent Wednesday, after the company reported quarterly results well-above analyst estimates, partially thanks to the popularity of its Star Wars game series.

The game maker's stock hit a $74.92 Wednesday, just shy of its 52-week high of $76.92. It was up nearly 7 percent for the year and more than 17 percent year-over-year.

Electronic Arts earned an adjusted 50 cents per share in its fourth fiscal quarter, eight cents above analyst estimates. The company's revenue also beat Street forecasts at $924 million, while analysts expected $889 million, according to Thompson Reuters.

Source: FactSet

"Star Wars Battlefront" was an especially strong franchise, selling more than 14 million copies and expanding the company's user base by more than 15 percent.

"It was a year of growth and milestones, demonstrating our unique ability to connect hundreds of millions of players across genres," Andrew Wilson, EA's CEO, said in a statement. "The year ahead is packed with excitement."

Sports were another bright spot for the California-based company. More than 54 million people played EA Sports games in the fourth quarter, up 65 percent from a year earlier. The company is introducing a new Madden game Thursday, and other NFL, NHL, and FIFA games later this year.

"The Sims" user base also grew by almost two-thirds throughout the year, Wilson said. "The Sims FreePlay" mobile game hit 200 million installations since its debut. Wilson highlighted the success of Madden NFL mobile, where player engagement grew more than 30 percent year over year.