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Activision Blizzard Beats the Street in Pre-Holiday Quarter

Thanks, Destiny!

Destiny and World of Warcraft publisher Activision Blizzard turned in third-quarter earnings ahead of Wall Street’s expectations today, with non-GAAP earnings per share of 23 cents and revenue at $1.17 billion.

Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings per share of 13 cents and about $1 billion in quarterly revenue.

More than 9.5 million people have registered in Activision’s newly launched shooter game Destiny, while Blizzard’s now decade-old online game World of Warcraft still has some 7.4 million paying subscribers. More than 20 million people have registered with Blizzard’s free-to-play digital trading card game, Hearthstone.

Heading into the all-important holiday quarter, the company raised its outlook for the year to $4.8 billion in non-GAAP revenue, ahead of its previous $4.7 billion forecast.

Consoles, particularly the newer PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for which Destiny was heavily advertised, accounted for 64 percent of all revenue, up from 49 percent in the same quarter a year ago. Despite growing efforts in mobile games, including a console-equivalent version of Skylanders: Trap Team on tablets, mobile revenue fell by $20 million year over year and represented only three percent of the quarter’s non-GAAP revenue.

Shares were trading up three percent after hours.

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