Shares in Electronic Arts Inc., developer of game franchises such as Madden NFL and the Sims, rose after the company released its first-quarter earnings, laced with nuggets of unexpected good news.
EA, in a conference call with analysts Tuesday, said revenue grew 23% from a year earlier to $999 million in the three months that ended June 30. Net income of $221 million shot up 130% from $96 million a year earlier.
The results were higher than what analysts had expected, helping to boost EA shares by 35 cents, or 1.5%, to $24.16 in after-hours trading following the earnings release. The stock had earlier closed down 26 cents at $23.81.
The Redwood City, Calif., game publisher said it had received 10 times the number of advance orders for Battlefield 3, slated for release Oct. 25, compared with the franchise's previous game, which sold more than 9 million copies. Advance orders for EA's upcoming online game Star Wars: The Old Republic are "the largest ever" for the game publisher, said EA Chief Executive John Riccitiello.