May 5, 2016 / 8:22 PM / a year ago

'Call of Duty' maker Activision's revenue, profit beat estimates

Men are dressed as soldiers to promote the video game "Call Of Duty Black Ops 3" at the Gamescom fair in Cologne, Germany August 5, 2015. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

(Reuters) - Activision Blizzard Inc reported higher-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit due to strong demand for its popular “Call of Duty: Black Ops III” videogame.

Shares of the company, which also forecast current-quarter revenue and profit above analysts’ expectations, rose 4 percent in extended trading on Thursday.

“Call of Duty: Black Ops III”, released in November, stayed in the list of 10 most sold physical videogames in the United States in January-March, according to research firm NPD Group.

Activision, known for its game series such as “Skylanders” and “World of Warcraft”, said adjusted revenue from its high-margin digital business rose 48 percent to $797 million.

The company gets nearly 90 percent of its revenue from the digital business, which offers games and other content as downloads.

Videogame makers such as Activision are increasingly offering games on the digital platform instead of selling them in physical formats as gamers shift to playing on smartphones and tablets from consoles.

Activision, which bought “Candy Crush” maker King Digital in February, said it expected to release a new game “Overwatch” on May 24. The futuristic multi-player game allows players to choose an avatar from 21 heroes.

Activision forecast adjusted earnings of 38 cents per share and revenue of $1.38 billion for the second quarter.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of 33 cents per share and sales of $1.33 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Activision’s total adjusted revenue rose 29.2 percent to $908 million in the quarter ended March 31, beating the average estimate of $812.9 million.

Excluding items, the company earned 23 cents per share, nearly double the 12 cents analysts had expected.

Activision shares were trading at $36.35 after the bell.

Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey

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