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CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Activision forecasts profit above estimates

(Corrects headline and paragraph 1 to say company forecast profit “above estimates” not “below estimates”, drops reference to competition; Corrects Q4 adjusted profit outlook to $1.09/shr from $0.63/shr, and FY adjusted profit forecast to $3.35/shr from $3.08/shr in paragraph 3)

Oct 29 (Reuters) - Activision Blizzard Inc forecast holiday-quarter and full-year profit above Wall Street estimates on Thursday.

Shares of the company, which have risen 30% this year, fell 8% after the bell.

Activision forecast adjusted earnings of $1.09 per share for the fourth-quarter, compared with analysts’ estimate of $1.08. The company raised its full-year earnings forecast to $3.35 per share from $2.87, which came above estimates of $3.30.

The company also raised its annual adjusted sales forecast, betting on strong sales for its upcoming videogame in the blockbuster “Call of Duty” franchise.

“Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War” is set to release on Nov. 13, following the launch of Sony Corp’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X. The launch of new consoles has traditionally boosted videogame sales.

Demand from stay-at-home players continues to boost videogame sales, as a surge in COVID-19 cases in several parts of the country has forced people to remain indoors.

Data from research firm NPD showed nearly $34 billion in videogame sales between January and September this year, up 21% compared to the same period a year earlier.

Activision raised its full-year adjusted revenue forecast to $8.10 billion from $7.63 billion, compared with analysts’ average estimate of $7.94 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company also topped third-quarter adjusted sales estimates on strong sales of “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” and forecast holiday-quarter adjusted revenue of $2.73 billion, above Wall Street estimates of $2.63 billion.

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” has been the top-selling game so far this year across platforms, according to NPD. (Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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