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Activision profit up 84%

Vidgame publisher's 3Q earnings rise

No. 2 vidgame publisher Activision saw its profit shoot up 84% last quarter as costs dropped on virtually flat sales.

Like competitor Electronic Arts, Activision wasn’t able to significantly increase revenues last quarter, as the very slow rollout of the PlayStation 3 and relatively limited launch of Nintendo’s Wii combined to constrain sales.

Activision revenue was up just 1% to $822.8 million.

Publisher cut back on its releases from last year, but focused on a few core franchises that sold well, including “Call of Duty 3,” “Guitar Hero 2,” “Tony Hawk’s Project 8” and the one non-sequel, “Marvel Ultimate Alliance.”

Activision upped revenue guidance for the current quarter after getting better visibility on the PS3 launch in Europe, due in late March. It’s expecting $200 million in revenue, up from its previous estimate of $170 million.

All earnings for Activision are preliminary, as it is still dealing with an investigation of potentially backdated stock options, a scandal that has hit other tech companies such as Apple and CNET Networks.

Shares in Activision closed up less than 1% at $16.84 before earnings were announced Wednesday.

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