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Activision Blizzard Announces Fourth-Quarter and 2018 Financial Results

Nachrichtenquelle: Business Wire (engl.)
12.02.2019, 22:15  |  450   |   |   

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced fourth-quarter 2018 results.

Financial Metrics

    Q4     CY
(in millions, except EPS)     2018     Prior Outlook*     2017 2018     2017
GAAP Net Revenues $2,381     $2,236     $2,043 $7,500     $7,017
Impact of GAAP deferralsA $454 $812 $597 ($238) $139
 
GAAP EPS** $0.84 $0.43 ($0.77) $2.35 $0.36
Non-GAAP EPS $0.90 $0.64 $0.49 $2.72 $2.21
Impact of GAAP deferralsA $0.39 $0.63 $0.45 ($0.12) $0.07

* Prior outlook was provided by the company on November 8, 2018 in its earnings release.
** GAAP EPS includes the impact of significant discrete tax related items. Refer to the tables at the end of this press release for details.

For the year ended December 31, 2018, Activision Blizzard’s net revenues presented in accordance with GAAP were a record $7.50 billion, as compared with $7.02 billion for 2017. GAAP net revenues from digital channels were a record $5.79 billion. GAAP operating margin was 27%. GAAP earnings per diluted share were a record $2.35, as compared with $0.36 for 2017. On a non-GAAP basis, Activision Blizzard’s operating margin was 34% and earnings per diluted share were a record $2.72, as compared with $2.21 for 2017.

For the quarter ended December 31, 2018, Activision Blizzard’s net revenues presented in accordance with GAAP were a record $2.38 billion, as compared with $2.04 billion for the fourth quarter of 2017. GAAP net revenues from digital channels were a record $1.79 billion. GAAP operating margin was a Q4 record of 29%. GAAP earnings per diluted share were a record $0.84, as compared with loss per share of $0.77 for the fourth quarter of 2017. On a non-GAAP basis, Activision Blizzard’s operating margin was a Q4 record of 35% and earnings per diluted share were a record $0.90, as compared with $0.49 for the fourth quarter of 2017.

Activision Blizzard generated $1.79 billion in operating cash flow for the year ended December 31, 2018, as compared to $2.21 billion for 2017. For the quarter, operating cash flow was $999 million.

Please refer to the tables at the back of this press release for a reconciliation of the company’s GAAP and non-GAAP results.

Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard said “While our financial results for 2018 were the best in our history, we didn’t realize our full potential. To help us reach our full potential, we have made a number of important leadership changes. These changes should enable us to achieve the many opportunities our industry affords us, especially with our powerful owned franchises, our strong commercial capabilities, our direct digital connections to hundreds of millions of players, and our extraordinarily talented employees.”

Operating Metrics

For the year ended December 31, 2018, Activision Blizzard’s net bookingsB were a record $7.26 billion, as compared with $7.16 billion for 2017, below our prior outlook. Net bookingsB from digital channels were a record $5.72 billion, as compared with $5.43 billion for 2017, and in-game net bookingsB were a record of $4.2 billion.

For the quarter ended December 31, 2018, Activision Blizzard’s net bookingsB were a record $2.84 billion, compared with $2.64 billion for the fourth quarter of 2017, below our prior outlook. Net bookingsB from digital channels were a record $1.88 billion, as compared with $1.62 billion for the fourth quarter of 2017, and in-game net bookingsB were a record of $1.2 billion.

Selected Business Highlights

Activision

  • Activision had 53 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs)C in the quarter, growing double-digits quarter-over-quarter. Fourth quarter segment revenues grew 6% year-over-year to $1.41 billion and operating income increased 14% year-over-year to $723 million.
  • Call of Duty was again the number-one selling console franchise worldwide for the year, a franchise feat accomplished for nine of the last 10 years.1 In its launch quarter, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 sold-through more units than Call of Duty: Black Ops III, with PC units more than tripling. Full-game downloads were over 40% of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 console sell-through, versus approximately 30% for the prior release, Call of Duty: WWII.
  • The successful launch of Spyro Reignited Trilogy in the fourth quarter and the ongoing contribution of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, which has sold-in over 10 million units since its 2017 release, highlight the enduring nature of Activision’s classic franchises.

Blizzard

  • Blizzard had 35 million MAUsC in the quarter, as Overwatch and Hearthstone saw sequential stability and World of Warcraft saw expected declines post-expansion-launch. Fourth quarter segment revenues grew 15% year-over-year to $686 million and operating income increased 51% year-over-year to $241 million.
  • Building on an 11-year partnership, Blizzard extended its joint venture with NetEase to publish its games in China through January 2023.

King

  • King had 268 million MAUsC in the quarter, growing sequentially, driven by the successful launch of Candy Crush Friends SagaTM. Fourth quarter segment revenues grew 5% year-over-year to $543 million and operating income increased 28% year-over-year to $207 million.
  • Candy Crush Friends Saga saw strong monetization and retention trends, contributing incremental growth for the Candy CrushTM franchise, which grew net bookingsB and MAUsC year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter. This quarter, King had two of the top-10 highest-grossing titles in the U.S. mobile app stores for twenty-one quarters in a row, with Candy Crush SagaTM at #1 again.2
  • Advertising in the King network was again profitable with net bookingsB growing over 50% sequentially.

Company Outlook

In 2019, the company will increase development investment in its biggest franchises, enabling teams to accelerate the pace and quality of content for their communities and supporting a number of new product initiatives. The number of developers working on Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Overwatch, Warcraft, Hearthstone and Diablo in aggregate will increase approximately 20% over the course of 2019. The company will fund this greater investment by de-prioritizing initiatives that are not meeting expectations and reducing certain non-development and administrative-related costs across the business. The company is also integrating its global and regional sales and go-to-market, partnerships, and sponsorships capabilities. As part of these restructuring actions, the company expects to incur a GAAP-only pre-tax charge of approximately $150 million, the majority of which is expected to be incurred this year.

(in millions, except EPS)    

GAAP Outlook

    Non-GAAP Outlook     Impact of GAAP deferralsA

CY 2019

           
Net Revenues $6,025 $6,025 $275
EPS $1.18 $1.85 $0.25
Fully Diluted Shares 775 775
 

Q1 2019

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