Activision has announced its first quarter financial results, finishing the beginning of 2014 ahead of expectations. The publisher was expecting net revenue of $885 million and closed the quarter with $1.111 billion.

The quarter was down year-over-year, but thanks to Skylanders Swap Force and Call of Duty: Ghosts holding the top two spots, the gap wasn't nearly as wide as expected. Call of Duty continues to be the top franchise on new-generation hardware. The company will also pay out its highest ever dividend per share of $.20.

Activision is looking ahead to a number of major titles for the rest of its 2014 fiscal year, including Destiny on September 9, Skylanders: Trap Team on October 5, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on November 4.

Blizzard will release the PlayStation 4 version of Diablo III later this year. The company has also reaffirmed the release of the next World of Warcraft expansion before December 20, 2014.

New-generation hardware represents approximately 16 percent of console software sales and 10.8 percent of total software sales. Digital represents 34 percent of Activision Blizzard's total software revenues.

Activision has announced 7.6 million World of Warcraft subscriptions at the close of the quarter, with over 1 million pre-sales for the upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion.


Our Take
Earlier today, we reported on Activision's major investment in Destiny over the next 10 years. Things are looking good for Activision, especially as it will begin ramping up revenue related to Hearthstone as it reaches new platforms. Heroes of the Storm will also likely be a big win for Activision once it reaches the monetization stage and wide release.