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EA Turns In Another Beat as Digital Sales Start to Eclipse Retail

In the past 12 months, most of EA's revenue came from digital sources -- a first for the company.

EA / Dragon Age: Inquisition

Electronic Arts beat Wall Street expectations as the game maker’s digital sales have started to outpace its retail business.

EA turned in a profit of $1.04 billion, or $1.22 per share, on sales of $1.43 billion. The Street was expecting 92 cents a share on sales of $1.29 billion.

The company raised its guidance for the full fiscal year, which ends in March, to $4.25 billion in revenue and $2.53 in per-share profit. Shares were trading up about 4 percent after hours on news of the raised guidance.

Still, the company’s sales have dropped about 9 percent as the total software gaming industry sees a falloff of about 7 percent, according to the NPD Group.

A significant portion of the company’s business now happens outside of the confines of retail. In the latest quarter, it clocked 160 million monthly active users of its mobile games. In the past twelve months, fully 50.2 percent of EA’s net revenue came from digital sources — the first time digital has been the majority.

Retail sources still narrowly eked out the lead in the holiday quarter, however, taking 51 percent of total sales, versus 67 percent in the same quarter a year prior. Mobile represented 10 percent of the total in Q3 2014, up from 8 percent in 2013.

Games sales on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 rose 51 percent to $593 million, while sales on the now “last-gen” consoles, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, fell 42 percent to $412 million. Sales of PC games fell 22 percent year over year to $231 million.

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