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EA Closes Fiscal Year Ahead Of Expectations, But Down From 2013

EA has announced its fourth quarter and year-end financial results. Despite a year that saw continuing fallout from the troubled launch of SimCity and problems plaguing Battlefield 4 for months after launch, the financial picture should please investors.

The publisher has exceeded its performance expectations, though significant changes in revenue recognition have yielded decreases in net revenue from $98 million to $8 million. EA attributes this to a revenue from pre-purchased DLC spread across a longer period of time instead of being recognized in a single period at the end of the fiscal year.

Key elements of EA's 2014 included a jump in mobile revenue to a new record high of $460 million. Ultimate Team is becoming a bigger part of the sports operation with $380 million of revenue in fiscal 2014, and a growth in Madden Ultimate Team of 90 percent year-over-year. 

EA is boasting three of the top five selling titles in the West for the first part of calendar 2014, including Battlefield 4, FIFA 14, and Titanfall. EA is expecting a major recovery in 2015, with net revenue jumping to $1.2 billion. 

The company will also be initiating a new stock buyback of up to $750 million in shares. Buybacks are typically viewed as signs of financial strength as the company invests in its own operations and returns value to shareholders.

We'll have more from the EA financial earnings call later this afternoon.

 

Our Take
EA had a challenging fiscal year with regard to public relations, but managed to finish well. This was likely due to extremely strong performance of Titanfall during March, though without concrete numbers yet, it's hard to know what kind of impact the game had. 

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