Activision Blizzard, has announced third-quarter 2019 results which exceed their prior outlook for both revenue and earnings per share according to Activision Blizzard chief executive officer Bobby Kotick.
“Recent launches have enabled the significant growth in the size of our audiences for our Call of Duty and World of Warcraft franchises. As we introduce mobile and free-to-play games based on our franchises we believe we can increase audience size, engagement and monetisation across our wholly-owned franchises. With a strong content pipeline and momentum in mobile, esports and advertising, we are confident we will remain a leader in connecting and engaging the world through epic entertainment.”
For the quarter ended 30 September 2019, Activision Blizzard’s net revenues presented in accordance with GAAP were $1.28 billion which is comparatively low with 2018 third-quarter $1.51 billion mark.
GAAP net revenues from digital channels were $1.01 billion. GAAP operating margin was 19 per cent. GAAP earnings per diluted share were $0.26, as compared with $0.34 for the third quarter of 2018.
At the end of third quarter on 30 September 2019, on a non-GAAP basis, Activision Blizzard’s operating margin was 27 per cent and earnings per diluted share were $0.38, as compared with $0.42 for the third quarter of 2018.
For the quarter ended 30 September 2019, operating cash flow was $309 million. For the trailing twelve-month period, operating cash flow was $1.91 billion.
Activision Blizzard exceeded its third quarter outlook, driven by better-than-expected performance for Call of Duty in-game and World of Warcraft, as well as favorable cost timing. The company started the fourth quarter with successful launches for Call of Duty: Mobile and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and achieved important milestones for several other franchises. Activision Blizzard is intent on building on this momentum as the company invests in the fourth quarter to maximize the potential of its franchises in 2020 and beyond.
The 1 October 2019, launch of Call of Duty: Mobile saw over 100 million downloads in its first month, reaching the top of the mobile app download charts in over 150 countries and regions, with a 4.9-star rating in the U.S. iOS store.In addition to that on 25October 2019, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare launched and became the top-selling new premium game release of the year.
In the third quarter the Overwatch League concluded with a sell-out crowd of over 11,000 fans watching the San Francisco Shock defeat the Vancouver Titans in the Grand Finals at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia in September. Season Two average minute audience grew 18 per cent year-over-year. Candy Crush once again became the top-grossing franchise in the U.S. mobile app stores. Advertising continued to grow profitably, with net bookings almost doubling year-over-year.
At BlizzCon on 1 November 2019, Blizzard revealed some of the exciting content in its pipeline which will definitely reflect the quarter four result for the brand. The upcoming inclusion are Hearthstone’s Descent of Dragons expansion, set for release in the fourth quarter of 2019, which is already in early access and enters open beta on 12 November 2019. World of Warcraft’s next expansion, Shadowlands, set to launch in 2020, Overwatch 2, the next major instalment for the franchise, and Diablo IV, the highly-anticipated sequel to the genre-defining franchise.