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Activision Blizzard’s annual sales forecast tops estimates on ‘Call of Duty’ boost – Metro US

Activision Blizzard’s annual sales forecast tops estimates on ‘Call of Duty’ boost

The entrance to the Activision Blizzard Inc. campus is shown
The entrance to the Activision Blizzard Inc. campus is shown in Irvine, California

(Reuters) – Activision Blizzard Inc on Thursday forecast full-year adjusted revenue above analysts’ estimates, driven by strong demand for the latest installment of its blockbuster “Call of Duty” franchise from gamers staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company expects full-year adjusted sales to be $8.45 billion, above Wall Street’s average estimate of $8.31 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Shares of the company were up nearly 5% in extended trading.

Videogame makers across the world continue to benefit from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced people to remain indoors, leading to a surge in demand from stay-at-home gamers.

In the United States alone, videogame sales jumped 25% year-over-year to $7.7 billion in December and Activision’s “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War” was the bestseller across all platforms in 2020, according to data from research firm NPD.

Activision said 2020 marked a record year for its “Call of Duty” franchise, which drew more than 100 million monthly active players across all gaming platforms.

The company also forecast first-quarter adjusted revenue to be $1.75 billion, above analysts’ average estimate of $1.67 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

Activision’s adjusted revenue for the holiday-quarter, ended Dec. 31, was $3.05 billion, above estimates of $2.83 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Fourth-quarter net income fell to $508 million, or 65 cents per share, from $525 million, or 68 cents per share, a year earlier.

(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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