Activision Blizzard Shoots Past Targets on 'Call of Duty' Sales
Net revenue for the quarter fell to $1.56 billion from $1.64 billion, but on an adjusted basis it came in at $2.5 billion, ahead of Wall Street's view for revenue of $2.23 billion. Sales were driven by the latest installment in the Call of Duty franchise, which became the first video game to surpass $550 million in retail sales in its first five days of release, the company reported. To date, the game has sold more than $1 billion in retail sales worldwide, according to market research firms.
"We generated approximately $1.2 billion in operating cash flow and ended the year with approximately $3.3 billion in cash and investments," Robert Kotick, chief executive, said in a statement. "We continue to put our cash to work, including the announcements we made today -- the authorization of our second billion-dollar stock buyback program in two years and our first cash dividend."
Activision will now pay an annual dividend of 15 cents a share.
For the first quarter, the company forecast adjusted earnings of 2 cents a share, short of analysts' view for 8 cents. For the full fiscal year, Activision forecast adjusted earnings of 70 cents a share, also below the Street's estimate of 73 cents.