August 4, 2021

(Reuters) – Electronic Arts Inc on Wednesday forecast current-quarter adjusted sales above estimates, as the videogame maker bet on a strong performance from mainstay titles like “FIFA 21” and “Apex Legends”, sending its shares up nearly 3% in extended trading.

The Redwood City, California-based company also raised its annual sales forecast but that missed estimates, as easing COVID-19 curbs further into the year might slow down the lockdown-fueled gaming frenzy.

Rivals Take-Two and Activision Blizzard also forecast disappointing annual revenue earlier this week.

Redwood City, California-based EA said it expects full-year adjusted sales of $7.40 billion versus $7.30 billion earlier, while analysts had estimated $7.45 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

It forecast second-quarter adjusted sales of $1.73 billion, exceeding expectations of $1.51 billion.

EA had emerged as a clear pandemic winner after lockdowns ignited a boom in the time and money spent on games, driving an over 30% surge in the video game publisher’s shares last year.

But with rising vaccinations and easing restrictions in many countries, investors are now weighing if EA’s big bet on mobile gaming will pay off as gamers leave their consoles behind to socialize outside.

Backed by a strong balance sheet, EA has been on a buying spree worth billions of dollars to bolster its mobile gaming lineup, bringing Glu Mobile, UK-based Codemasters and Playdemic Ltd under its marquee since 2020.

EA’s adjusted sales stood at $1.34 billion for the first quarter ended June 30, beating expectations of $1.28 billion.

Net income fell to $204 million, or 71 cents per share, from $365 million, or $1.25 per share, a year ago.

(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)