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Battlefield 2

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Action
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Electronic Arts

About Judy

As WP's senior editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games...

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EA 3rd Quarter Financial Results Reveal 'Battlefield 2' Delay

by Judy on Jan. 25, 2005 @ 2:58 p.m. PST

Battlefield 2 features immense, richly detailed, destructible environments, from city streets to remote forests, in some of the most notorious hot spots around the world. Each map in Battlefield 2 adjusts in scale to support the number of players in the world, providing the ideal vehicle-to-player ratio and an optimized game play experience. Enhanced team play features allow players to enter the action on the front lines as part of a formal squad, or work behind the scenes in Commander Mode to direct the strategic assaults of their team mates. With in-game success, players increase their rank from recruit all the way to General and unlock awards, including new weapons, vehicle decals, medals, and more.

Net revenue was $1.428 billion, down 3.2 percent as compared with $1.475 billion for the fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2003. Sales were driven by Need for Speed Underground 2, FIFA 2005, The Lord of the Rings, The Third Age, NBA LIVE 2005, The Urbz: Sims in the City, Golden Eye: Rogue Agent and The Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-earth -- each reaching platinum status in the quarter. Madden NFL 2005, The Sims 2 and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR(R) 2005 had continued strong sales each selling over one million copies in the quarter.

EA entered into long-term agreements with both the National Football League and ESPN. In addition, the Company agreed to purchase shares representing approximately 19.9 percent of Ubisoft Entertainment, a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment.

Net income was $375 million, a 4.4 percent decrease year-over-year. Diluted earnings per share were $1.18 as compared to $1.26 a year ago.

Non-GAAP net income, excluding certain items, was $391 million, roughly flat year-over-year. Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share were $1.23 as compared to $1.26. (Please see Non-GAAP Financial Measures and reconciliation information included in this release.)

Trailing twelve month operating cash flow was a record $722 million as compared to $538 million for the same period a year ago -- an increase of $184 million.

"This quarter, EA further strengthened its long term leadership position," said Larry Probst, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Our exclusive agreements with the NFL, NFLPA and ESPN, along with our strategic investment in Ubisoft will help provide the framework for continued growth in the future."

"We expect calendar 2005 to be a defining year," said Warren Jenson, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer. "While the year ahead will certainly be a year of investment for EA, we expect to see growth through new exciting platforms, a rich slate of great entertainment and further globalization of our business."

Current Highlights (comparisons are to the quarter ended December 31, 2003, unless otherwise stated)

-- Net revenue for the quarter: North America - down 8 percent to $692 million; Europe - up 1 percent to $666 million; Asia Pacific, including Japan, up 9 percent to $70 million. Reported net revenue increased by approximately $47 million or 3 percent due to changes in foreign currency rates.

-- Need for Speed Underground 2 sold over 8.4 million copies. The Need for Speed franchise has now surpassed $1 billion in life-to-date sales.

-- FIFA 2005 sold over 4.5 million copies.

-- EA repurchased 656 thousand shares of its common stock during the quarter.

-- The Company had 27 platinum titles in the calendar year.

-- The Sims franchise sold more than 16 million copies in the calendar year.

-- The Need for Speed franchise sold more than 15 million copies in the calendar year.

-- The Company completed its acquisition of Criterion Software.

-- EA entered into an agreement to purchase approximately 19.9 percent of Ubisoft for a purchase price of 19.69 Euros per share or approximately $90 million in total.

-- EA has recently completed its tender offer for shares of Digital Illusions, C.E. at 61 Swedish Kroners or approximately $8.71 per share.

Business Outlook

The following forward-looking statements reflect expectations as of January 25, 2005. Results may be materially different and are affected by many factors, such as changes in foreign exchange rates, the overall global economy, the popular appeal of our products, our effective tax rate, development delays, our ability to secure key licenses and other factors detailed in this release and in our annual and quarterly SEC filings.

Fiscal Year Expectations - Ending March 31, 2005

-- Net revenue is expected to be between $3.275 and $3.325 billion - as compared to $2.957 billion for fiscal 2004.

-- Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share are expected to be between $1.90 and $1.95 - as compared to $1.84 for fiscal 2004. This range does not factor in eight cents of estimated charges related principally to our acquisition of Criterion Software and tender offer for Digital Illusions C.E.

-- GAAP diluted earnings per share are expected to be between $1.82 and $1.87 - as compared to $1.87 for fiscal 2004.

Our expected results include the projected impact of our share repurchase program.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Electronic Arts uses non-GAAP measures of operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share. These non-GAAP measures exclude the following items, including any related tax effect, from the Company's statement of operations:

-- Amortization of intangibles

-- Employee stock-based compensation

-- Restructuring and asset impairment charges

-- Acquired in-process technology

-- Other-than-temporary impairment of investments in affiliates

In addition, other significant unforeseeable and non-recurring items may occur from time to time that require an adjustment to these non-GAAP measures. For example, during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004, a $20 million non-recurring benefit to the Company's income tax expense was included in the GAAP results but excluded from the non-GAAP results. When these items occur, the accounting impact will become a reconciling item between the GAAP results and these non-GAAP measures. In addition, they will be described in the reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP results included as part of the supplemental disclosures to the related release.

The Company believes that excluding these items is useful for illustrating and explaining operating results and comparisons to prior periods. Management considers these non-GAAP measures in its decision-making to facilitate more relevant operating comparisons.

A reconciliation of GAAP operating income to non-GAAP operating income; GAAP net income to non-GAAP net income; and GAAP diluted earnings per share to non-GAAP diluted earnings per share are included as part of the supplemental disclosures to this release.

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