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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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EA's Q4 2007 Financial Result Reveals 'Spore' Delay

by Rainier on May 8, 2007 @ 5:50 p.m. PDT

While the industry has been beating expectations the past few quarters, EA had less good news today. Net revenue was down 4%, gross profit down 5%, net loss increased, and net income was also down for the quarter, although on an annual basis, net revenue was up, primarily driven by the EA Sports lineup (mainly Madden), Need for Speed Carbon, and The Sims. During the subsequent conf. call EA CEO John Riccitiello revealed that Will Wright's larger-than-life title won't see the light of day until early 2008.

Net revenue for the fourth quarter was $613 million, down four percent as compared with $641 million for the prior year primarily due to the transition to next generation systems. Sales were driven by Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars, Need for Speed Carbon, DEF JAM: ICON and The Sims 2 Seasons.

Gross profit for the quarter was $378 million, down five percent year-over-year. Net loss for the quarter was $25 million as compared with a net loss of $16 million for the prior year. The Company adopted Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 123R “Share-Based Payment” at the beginning of its fiscal year resulting in an after-tax stock-based compensation charge of $24 million, or $0.08 per share, in the fourth quarter. Diluted loss per share was $0.08 as compared with $0.05 for the prior year.

Non-GAAP net income was $19 million as compared with $43 million a year ago. Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share were $0.06 as compared with $0.14 for the prior year. (Please see Non-GAAP Financial Measures and reconciliation information included in this release.)

Net revenue for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2007 was $3.091 billion, up five percent as compared with $2.951 billion for the prior year. Seven titles sold more than three million copies: Madden NFL 07, Need for Speed Carbon, FIFA 07, The Sims 2 Pets, The Sims 2, Need for Speed Most Wanted and 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Gross profit for the year was $1.879 billion, up six percent year-over-year. Net income for the year was $76 million as compared with $236 million for the prior year. The Company incurred an after-tax stock-based compensation charge of $107 million, or $0.34 per share, for the year. Diluted earnings per share were $0.24 as compared with $0.75 for the prior year.

Non-GAAP net income was $247 million as compared with $301 million a year ago. Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share were $0.78 as compared with $0.96 for the prior year. (Please see Non-GAAP Financial Measures and reconciliation information included in this release.)

Trailing-twelve-month operating cash flow was $397 million as compared with $596 million a year ago. The Company ended the quarter with cash, short-term investments and marketable equity securities of $2.976 billion.

“EA has a powerful set of franchises, strong brands and great talent,” said John Riccitiello, Chief Executive Officer. “It is a great honor to rejoin this team and have the opportunity to build on its success.”

“We have a strong lineup for the year ahead,” said Warren Jenson, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer. “We expect to launch more than fifteen games based on wholly owned properties – including Medal of Honor Airborne, Army of Two, Boogie, MySims, Battlefield Bad Company*, SKATE and Need for Speed.”

Highlights for the Year (comparisons are to the fiscal year ended March 31, 2006)

  • Net revenue: North America – up five percent to $1.666 billion; Europe – up seven percent to $1.261 billion; Asia – down 15 percent to $164 million. Movements in foreign currency rates positively impacted net revenue by $53 million, or two percent.
  • Mobility-based revenue, which includes handhelds and cellular handsets, was $540 million – up 37 percent. The increase is primarily a result of a full year of cellular handset revenue from the acquisition of JAMDAT Mobile and sales growth on the Nintendo DS.
  • Digital revenue was a record $127 million – up 47 percent year-over-year.
  • Club Pogo surpassed 1.5 million paying subscribers – up 23 percent year-over-year.
  • Madden NFL 07 was the industry’s most popular game of 2006 in North America and was EA’s top seller for the fiscal year. Need for Speed Carbon sold over 8.5 million copies – making it EA’s second-best-performing title.
  • Titles from The Sims franchise sold 22 million copies in the year – with The Sims 2 Pets selling 5.6 million copies and The Sims 2 selling 3.9 million copies.
  • EA completed five acquisitions during the year – Digital Illusions, Mythic Entertainment, Headgate Studios, Phenomic and SingShot.
  • EA Partners signed agreements to bring Rock Band, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames and Hellgate: London to consumers.
  • EA made a 19 percent equity investment in Neowiz which closed in April, 2007.
  • Deferred Net Revenue Recognition For Certain Online-Enabled Packaged Goods

The Company reiterated that starting in fiscal year 2008, it will begin recognizing net revenue associated with certain online-enabled packaged goods games over the estimated hosting service period. As a result, the Company anticipates that a significant amount of net revenue that otherwise would have been recognized in fiscal 2008 will be recognized in fiscal 2009.

The following forward-looking statements, as well as those made above, reflect expectations as of May 8, 2007. Results may be materially different and are affected by many factors, such as: consumer demand for next-generation consoles and the ability of the console manufacturers to produce an adequate supply of consoles to meet that demand; the popular appeal of EA’s products; development delays on EA’s products; changes in foreign exchange rates; the overall global economy; competition in the industry; EA’s effective tax rate and other factors detailed in this release and in EA’s annual and quarterly SEC filings.

Fiscal Year Expectations – Ending March 31, 2008

  • Net revenue is expected to be between $3.1 and $3.4 billion.
  • Non-GAAP net revenue is expected to be between $3.6 and $3.8 billion.
  • GAAP diluted loss per share is expected to be between ($0.77) and ($0.23).
  • Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share are expected to be between $0.90 and $1.20. Expected non-GAAP diluted earnings per share exclude the following items from expected GAAP diluted loss per share: approximately $0.98 to $1.23 for changes in deferred net revenue related to packaged goods and digital content; approximately $0.31 of estimated stock-based compensation; approximately $0.13 of amortization of intangible assets; and approximately $0.02 of estimated restructuring charges.

Fiscal First Quarter Expectations – Ending June 30, 2007

  • Net revenue is expected to be between $300 and $360 million.
  • Non-GAAP net revenue is expected to be between $350 and $400 million.
  • GAAP diluted loss per share is expected to be between ($0.66) and ($0.56).
  • Non-GAAP diluted loss per share is expected to be between ($0.40) and ($0.34). Expected non-GAAP loss per share excludes the following items from expected GAAP diluted loss per share: approximately $0.10 to $0.14 for changes in deferred net revenue related to packaged goods and digital content; approximately $0.08 of estimated stock-based compensation; and approximately $0.04 of amortization of intangible assets.

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