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Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Changing the Game of the Gaming Industry

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Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) announced after the closing bell on Mar. 18, 2013 that the company’s current chief executive officer will be stepping down, and that their earnings projections have been reduced. What’s with all the bad tidings for EA?

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA)

Electronic Arts is a publisher and distributor of video game software for video game consoles, computers, mobile devices, and the Internet. It produces games in a variety of styles and storylines for players of all ages.

In addition to the announcement of current CEO John Riccitiello stepping down, EA said its revenue and earnings expectations will be lower than previously expected. On Jan. 30, it reported that fiscal year diluted earnings per share should be between $0.86 and $1.00. Revenue expectations were set at $3.7-$3.8 billion. Riccitiello said in a statement he takes the blame for not reaching the operational metrics the company – and its investors – expected.

Earnings history

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) has had a challenging year so far. It started the fiscal year with an earnings loss of $0.41. The most recent quarter saw a loss of $0.15 per share. The stock price tumbled in response to this poor performance from April to June of 2012 to a low of $10.77.

Fiscal year 2012 revenue was up 15% from 2011. Net earnings were $76 million in 2012 over a net loss of $276 million in 2011. 2012 net margin was 1.8%. The most recent quarter’s revenue was up 29%, but still had losses.

Operations

Video game markets have been changing in recent years. According to EA’s most recent 10-Q, more consumers are using wireless and mobile gaming platforms. This is one of the major focuses of gaming and entertainment for the future. EA’s mobile revenue has grown by 23% from Q2 to Q3.

Another main focus for the company is shifting its production schedule to center around sequels to already popular games. In 2013, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) expects to release 13 primary game titles, which include sequels. This is 36% of the 36 titles released in 2011. In February, Dead Space 3 was the most popular video game sold in the United States.

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