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Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) Is Ready for Battle

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) is all warmed up. The game publisher just announced earnings results, and they were better than expected almost across the board.

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA)

Shares surged on the news yesterday despite the fact that the company tried to temper expectations. Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) flat-out told investors that the first quarter was just a warm-up, and it is the next three quarters that really matter. However, the Street seemed happy enough to celebrate the quarter that just ended.

There were some good reasons to cheer these results. Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) beat expectations on both the top and bottom lines. And that’s even with the lack of any big new releases to move. The company’s two major sellers, Battlefield 3 and FIFA 13, have been on the market for 20 and 10 months, respectively. But Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) managed to squeeze a lot of revenue from the titles, helping it log $495 million in sales versus the $450 million it had guided to. Earnings also came in much higher than expected, as Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) booked a $0.40-per-share loss instead of the $0.62 loss it had expected.

Digital sales were another bright spot. Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) got 76% of its revenue from downloads in the quarter, on the strength of content offerings for its blockbuster titles as well as mobile hits like The Simpsons: Tapped Out.

As for what’s ahead, EA couldn’t resist crowing about its opportunities — particularly in Asia. The company will be bringing FIFA Online 3 to China soon. Or, as management put it, “the world’s biggest online publisher is bringing the world’s biggest sports game, to the world’s biggest market.”

Still, 2013 only gets harder from here for EA. The quarter that just ended represents a tiny 12% of the company’s forecast revenue for the full year. To get the rest of that goal, EA and its Battlefield franchise will have to go through Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) and its latest Call of Duty installment. That franchise has been worth more than $8 billion in sales for Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI). The company won’t let its cash cow go down without a fight. In fact, Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) has plans for a huge marketing push behind the launch of Call of Duty: Ghosts in the fall, so there are at least a few rounds left in this game.

The article Electronic Arts Is Ready for Battle originally appeared on Fool.com is written by Demitrios Kalogeropoulos.

Fool contributor Demitrios Kalogeropoulos owns shares of Netflix and Activision Blizzard. The Motley Fool recommends Activision Blizzard, Amazon.com, and Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of Activision Blizzard, Amazon.com, and Netflix.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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