July 30, 2019 / 8:09 PM / 4 months ago

'Apex Legends' drives EA's quarterly revenue beat

July 30 (Reuters) - Video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc reported better-than-expected first-quarter revenue on Tuesday, riding on the strength of its battle royale sensation “Apex Legends”.

EA, however, expects second-quarter adjusted revenue of $1.23 billion, below analysts’ estimates of $1.24 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

The company maintained its full-year adjusted revenue forecast of $5.10 billion, below estimates of $5.18 billion.

Game franchises such as “Battlefield” and “FIFA” are among the company’s most iconic, but the rise of mobile-based, free-to-play games with engaging formats are challenging the dominance of traditional game publishers.

Battle royale games, in which players fight each other to death until the last survivor, became wildly popular in 2018 thanks to “PUBG” and Epic Games’ “Fortnite”.

On an adjusted basis, EA’s revenue was $743 million in the first quarter, beating the average analyst estimate of $719.2 million.

The company’s live services was also a key growth driver, driven by FIFA Ultimate Team.

The company’s net income rose to $1.42 billion, or $4.75 per share, in the quarter ended June 30, from $293 million, or 95 cents per share, a year earlier.

Net income was boosted by $1.08 billion of income tax benefit recognized during the quarter. (Reporting by Sayanti Chakraborty in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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