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Activision Blizzard Q2 Beats Outlook, But Not Last Year’s Second Quarter

Down may not be the new up after all: Activision Blizzard celebrated its Q2 2019 earnings as a success story Thursday, with CEO Bobby Kotick saying: “Our second quarter results exceeded our prior outlook for both revenue and earnings per share.”

But while the results were considerably better than the company’s previous outlook for the quarter, they were still down significantly from last year’s Q2 results. Investors weren’t entirely happy about that trend, and sent Activision Blizzard’s share price down as much as 3% in after-hours trading.

During the quarter ending June 30, Activision generated revenue of $1.4 billion, compared to $1.64 billion during the same quarter a year ago. Adjusted earnings per share for the quarter were $0.43, compared to $0.52 a year ago.

Analysts had expected earnings of $0.26 per share on revenue of $1.19 billion. However, analysts generally report the company’s revenue and earnings per share numbers without GAAP adjustment, as an Activision Blizzard spokesperson clarified in an email sent to Variety.

“As a result, if you would like to compare our reported figures and consensus on an apples-to-apples basis, you would add the impact of deferrals to our GAAP revenues and non-GAAP EPS,” the spokesperson continued. “In this specific instance, Q2 consensus revenue of $1.19 billion can be compared GAAP Net Revenues $1.396 plus the impact of deferrals of negative $189. Q2 consensus EPS of $0.26 can be compared to our reported non-GAAP EPS of $0.53 plus the impact of deferrals of negative $0.15.”

Across its franchises, the company had some 327 million monthly active users. That’s down from 352 million in Q2 of 2018, despite the fact that “Candy Crush,” the company’s most popular mobile game, grew its number of players year-over year. Executives attributed much of the user decline to the company’s split with “Destiny” developer Bungie, which was announced earlier this year.

Also earlier this year, Activision Blizzard announced the layoff of around 775 people, or around 8% of the company’s total workforce. On Thursday, executives said that they were growing the teams for core titles like “Call of Duty,” “Candy Crush,” “World of Warcraft,” “Overwatch” and “Diablo.”

Update: This article was updated with an Activision statement on GAAP vs. non-GAAP results.

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