Electronic Arts Sees Bright Digital Future Despite Loss


U.S. videogame giant Electronic Arts (EA) on Tuesday reported a deepened loss in the last quarter but saw a bright future as players opt increasingly for online play and digital downloads.

The Northern California-based firm posted a net loss of $322 million on net revenue $1.05 billion in the quarter ending December 31 as compared with a loss of $82 million on revenue of $1.24 billion in the same period a year earlier.

The performance topped Wall Street expectations, causing the company's stock price to jump nearly nine percent to $17.02 per share in trading that followed release of the earnings figures.

"We are pleased to report another strong quarter," said EA chief executive John Riccitiello.

"Our $600 million stock buyback demonstrates our confidence in EA's digital strategy."

Net revenue from videogame sales in the forms of digital downloads online climbed to $195 million in the quarter from $133 million in the same period a year earlier, according to EA.

Meanwhile, revenue from videogames sold as "packaged goods" in real-world stores tumbled.

EA reported a 39 percent increase in digital sales and was "tracking toward" its target of $750 million revenue in the category for the fiscal year, according to chief financial officer Eric Brown.

EA was the top publisher in Western markets for at Apple's online App Store for software for iPhones, iPads, or iPod touch devices.

The company was also claimed the title as the leading Western markets publisher of games for play on Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 consoles

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