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Bad news downs EA stox

Electronic Arts shares drop 13%

HOLLYWOOD — Shares in Electronic Arts plunged 13% in after-hours trading Monday after the top vidgame publisher said its earnings would miss guidance.

EA said revenue for the quarter ending March 31 will be between $3.1 billion and $3.125 billion and diluted earnings per share would be $1.62 to $1.64 per share. It had been predicting earnings of $1.82 to $1.87 per share on $3.275 billion to $3.325 billion in revenue.

Company blamed the slippage on poor sales of its library titles, as well as shortages of game consoles in stores.

“While our new releases have been performing well, they have not been able to offset a significant falloff in catalog sales,” CEO Larry Probst said in a statement.

While EA’s new games have sold reasonably well, it hasn’t published any of the breakout hits of the past few months, such as Microsoft’s “Halo 2,” Take Two’s “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” and Vivendi Universal Games’ “Worlds of Warcraft.”

After closing down slightly at $66.35 before news was announced, EA shares were trading at $57.89 in after-hours trading.

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