May 3, 2018 / 7:30 PM / a year ago

Activision Blizzard's profit beats estimates on "Call of Duty" strength

(Reuters) - Activision Blizzard Inc reported first-quarter profit that beat Wall Street estimates on Thursday, benefiting from robust sales for its blockbuster videogame, “Call of Duty”.

FILE PHOTO: The Activision booth is shown at the E3 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 13, 2017. REUTERS/ Mike Blake/File Photo

The company said revenue from its high-margin digital business, rose 13 percent to $1.21 billion.

The video-game publisher, which is behind popular franchises such as “Destiny” and “Skylanders”, forecast 2018 adjusted profit of $2.51 per share and revenue of $7.48 billion.

Analysts were expecting a profit of $2.61 per share and revenue of $7.51 billion.

For the current quarter, the company forecast adjusted revenue of $1.35 billion and profit of 31 cents per share. However, it missed the analysts’ average estimate of $1.49 billion and 47 cents per share.

The success of games from the “battle royale” genre such as Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has somewhat challenged publishers such as Activision and Take Two Interactive Software Inc.

Activision shares have lost nearly 13 percent of their value since March 9, wiping off nearly $7.5 billion from its market cap.

The company’s profit rose to $500 million, or 65 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 31, from $426 million, or 56 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 38 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 35 cent per share.

Total adjusted revenue rose to $1.38 billion from $1.20 billion.

The company released the results ahead of schedule after Dow Jones inadvertently published the results. Shares of the company resumed trading after a brief halt and were down 2 percent at $67.08.

Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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