Electronic Arts shares jump on earnings

Shares in Electronic Arts (EA) jumped almost 5% after the video games publisher reported stronger than expected results.

The firm’s quarterly profit and revenue came in better than expected on growth in digital revenue and strong sales of its sports titles.

Revenue rose nearly 40% to $1.13bn (£744m) in the three months to December from a year ago.

EA shares had closed down more than 2% before the earnings results came out.

Its net income was $142m in the period, compared with a loss of $308m a year earlier.

The company behind hit games FIFA and Madden NFL said sales were boosted over the holiday season as consumers bought discounted older generation consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3.

It saw a 62% increase in EA games made for such consoles in the quarter.

Sales for mobile phone games also rose 26% for the world’s second-largest video game publisher.

Monthly active users for its mobile games averaged over 160 million in the period, up from 155 million in its fiscal second quarter.

“Great execution with our leading IP [intellectual property], new mobile hits and continued strength in our catalogue of top games and services were the foundation for an excellent performance in the third quarter,” said chief executive Andrew Wilson in a statement on Tuesday.

The earnings results are a turnaround for the firm that had cut its full-year sales outlook last year after falling demand for old gaming console titles ate into profits.