It is no surprise that big boy Activision Blizzard was doing well, but how well are they doing exactly? The company posts it's previous year of financial results and it is impressive! Profits appear to be in the billions and with big titles such as World of Warcraft, Guitar Hero, and Call of Duty how could they possibly do poorly?
In North America and Europe, for the calendar year, Activision Blizzard had two of the top-five best-selling franchises on the consoles across all platforms -- Guitar Hero and Call of Duty, and was the #1 third-party publisher for the Wii platform, according to The NPD Group, Charttrack and Gfk. Additionally, Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft(R): Wrath of the Lich King(TM) was the #1 PC title in North America and Europe for the calendar year.
* Activision Blizzard had four top 10-best selling PC titles in dollars in North America and Europe for the calendar year, according to The NPD Group, Charttrack and Gfk.
* In North America, Activision Blizzard was the #1 third-party console and handheld software publisher in dollars for the calendar year, according to The NPD Group.
* For the calendar year, Activision Blizzard had the #1 U.S. best-selling title in dollars on the Nintendo(R) DS, Guitar Hero(R) On Tour(TM), according to the NPD Group.
* For the December quarter, Activision Blizzard was the #1 console, handheld and PC publisher in the U.S. and Europe, according to The NPD Group, Charttrack and Gfk.
* During the December quarter, Guitar Hero(R) III: Legends of Rock(TM) became the first video game ever to surpass $1 billion in sales from a single title, according to The NPD Group, Charttrack and Gfk.
* For the December quarter, Activision Blizzard had the #1 and #2 best-selling console titles, Guitar Hero(R)World Tour(TM) and Call of Duty(R)World at War(TM) respectively, in dollars in North America and Europe, according to The NPD Group.
* On December 23, 2008 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. announced that World of Warcraft(R) its award-winning subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game, is now played by more than 11.5 million subscribers worldwide.
* On November 10, 2008 -Activision Publishing acquired video game developer Budcat Creations, an award-winning development studio with expertise on the Wii(TM) home video game system and the Nintendo(R) DS(TM).
* On November 5, 2008, Activision Blizzard announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program under which the company can repurchase up to $1 billion of the company's common stock. Under this authorization the company purchased $126 million, or approximately 13 million shares, of common stock at an average price of $9.68 per share.
For the March quarter of calendar year 2009, Activision Publishing expects to release two titles during the last week of March, Guitar Hero(R) Metallica(R) and Monsters vs. Aliens(TM). Guitar Hero(R) Metallica enables players to experience the intensity and skill of Metallica, one of the greatest heavy metal bands of all time, as well as 20 other bands hand-picked by Metallica for their influence on the band's music. The game will be released for the Xbox 360(TM) video game system from Microsoft, PlayStation3 computer entertainment system and Nintendo Wii . Additionally, the company will release Monsters vs. Aliens(TM), based on DreamWorks Animation's upcoming 3D movie, for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360 video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, and Games for Windows (TM) PC.
Due to current macroeconomic conditions, the company's outlook is subject to significant risks and uncertainties including declines in demand for the company's products, fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, and counterparty risks relating to customers, licensees, licensors and manufacturers. The company's outlook is also based on assumptions about sell through rates for the company's products, the new slate of products and progress in integrating operations following the company's recent business combination transaction. As a result of these and other factors, actual results may deviate materially from the outlook presented below.
For calendar 2009, Activision Blizzard expects GAAP net revenues of $4.2 billion, and GAAP earnings per diluted share of $0.22. On a non-GAAP basis, the company expects net revenues of $4.7 billion for the calendar year. The revenue outlook includes a reduction of more than $200 million in revenue from the company's lower margin distribution and the co-publishing businesses and a negative year-over-year impact of more than $400 million from a stronger dollar. On a constant exchange rate basis, however, the company expects another year of Non-GAAP revenue growth. The company's non-GAAP earnings per diluted share are expected to be $0.61 for the calendar year.
For the March quarter 2009, Activision Blizzard expects GAAP net revenues of $860 million, and GAAP earnings per diluted share of $0.08. On a non-GAAP basis, the company expects net revenues of $550 million and $0.03 earnings per diluted share for the March quarter.