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Earnings Results: Electronic Arts stock falls as forecast comes in short of expectations

Electronic Arts Inc. stock dropped 3% in after-hours trading Tuesday after the videogame publisher suggested it will start off 2022 at a slower-than-expected pace.

EA EA, -2.05% — known for sports games such as “FIFA 21” and “Madden NFL 21,” as well as action titles like “Apex Legends” and “Battlefield 2042” — reported fiscal third-quarter net income of $66 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with $211 million, or 72 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose to $1.79 billion from $1.67 billion in the year-ago quarter. Bookings, which account for deferred revenue, reached $7.25 billion over the trailing past 12 months, the company said. Net bookings for the quarter were $2.58 billion, compared with $2.4 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of 5 cents a share on revenue of $1.78 billion and net bookings of $2.66 billion. Last quarter, EA forecast earnings of about 2 cents a share, revenue of about $1.75 billion and bookings of $2.63 billion.

For the fiscal fourth quarter, EA executives forecast earnings of 46 cents a share on sales of $1.76 billion, with net bookings also hitting $1.76 billion. Analysts on average had been expecting fourth-quarter earnings of 62 cents a share on sales of $1.77 billion and net bookings of $1.81 billion.

Read: The pandemic boom in videogames is expected to disappear in 2022

Shares fell more than 5% in after-hours trading immediately following the release of the report, after declining 2.1% to in the regular session to close at $129.94.

EA is one of the few big names in videogames yet to get swept up in M&A fever this year. In January, Sony Corp. SONY, +0.81% 6758, +3.60% said it would buy videogame publisher Bungie for $3.6 billion, Microsoft Corp. MSFT, -0.71% announced plans to buy Activision Blizzard Inc. for $69 billion; and Take-Two Interactive Inc.  TTWO, -1.89% announced it would acquire Zynga Inc.  ZNGA, for $12.7 billion.

Activision Blizzard is scheduled to report earnings on Thursday, and Take-Two is scheduled to report on Monday, Feb. 7.

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