US: Record Q1 for Activision

Video games publisher enjoys largest non-holiday quarter in its history.
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A host of licensed video games have helped Activision Blizzard to record net revenues for its first quarter of fiscal 2009.

The firm revealed that its stand alone preliminary financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 - which ended on June 30th, prior to the closing of its transaction with Vivendi for Blizzard on July 9th - were higher than Activision's previously provided first quarter outlook.

For the period, Activision is expecting record net revenues of $650 million and earnings per diluted share between $0.16 and $0.18. This is an increase from its prior outlook of $500 million in net revenues and earnings per diluted share of $0.04 on a stand alone basis.

The performance was driven by the North American launch of Kung Fu Panda early in the quarter, which was the largest launch of a Dreamworks Animation licensed property by Activision.

Late in the quarter, the firm also had two record setting North American launches from the Guitar Hero franchise - Guitar Hero: On Tour (which was the largest US launch for Nintendo's DS handheld in Activision's history), and Guitar Hero: Aerosmith (which ranked as one of the company's top five US multiplatform launches.

"Activision's first quarter stand alone net revenues and earnings were the highest ever for a non-holiday quarter," said Robert Kotick, president and CEO of Activision Blizzard. "Our significant overperformance in Q1 would have further added to our previously given stand alone fiscal 2009 net revenues and earnings outlook, making it by far the largest and most profitable year in Activision's history."

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