Electronic Arts Beats Expectations But Shares Fall on Outlook

Electronic Arts reported fourth-quarter results above analysts' consensus expectations, but shares fell after the company issued disappointing guidance.

The world's largest video game publisher reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 6 cents a share on sales of $613 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 2 cents a share on sales of $585 million.

Despite beating Wall Street's forecasts, the company said earnings fell 57% from earnings of 14 cents a share in the year-ago quarter.

Shares fell 3% in after-hours trading, erasing a similar gain during Tuesday's regular session.

Including charges related to stock options, restructuring and acquisitions, EA posted a net loss of $25 million, or 8 cents per share, for the fourth quarter, compared with a net loss of $16 million, or 5 cents, in the year-earlier period.

The Redwood City, Calif.-based company issued first-quarter and fiscal 2008 guidance short of analysts' expectations.

EA said it expects a first-quarter loss in a range of 34 to 40 cents on sales of $350 to $400 million, compared with analysts' forecasts of a loss of 9 cents a share on sales of $461 million.

For fiscal 2008, EA said it expects earnings in a range of 90 cents to $1.20 a share on sales of $3.1 to $3.4 billion, compared with consensus estimates of $1.34 a share in earnings on sales of $3.62 billion.