SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 16 -- Due to the better-than-expected performance of its titles at retail, Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) announced today that its March quarter net revenues and earnings per diluted share are tracking ahead of the company's prior outlook. On February 11, 2009, the company provided an outlook for the March quarter of $860 million in GAAP net revenues and GAAP earnings per diluted share of $0.08. On a non-GAAP basis, on February 11, 2009, the company provided an outlook of $550 million in net revenues and earnings per diluted share of $0.03.
"Global consumer response to the CALL OF DUTY and GUITAR HERO franchises and Blizzard Entertainment's WORLD OF WARCRAFT remains strong despite the challenging economic environment," said Robert Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. "We exceeded our quarterly financial goals as the video game market continues to grow and our franchises continue to perform. This bodes well for our upcoming spring titles TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE and ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS, which are inspired by theatrical feature films releases, Prototype, a new intellectual property, and the release of GUITAR HERO SMASH HITS as well as continued sales of our recently released GUITAR HERO METALLICA game."
Separately today, Blizzard Entertainment announced that WORLD OF WARCRAFT will be licensed to an affiliated company of NetEase.com, Inc. in mainland China following the expiration of its current license agreement.
Kotick added, "Regarding Blizzard Entertainment's announcement earlier today, planning is well underway for the WORLD OF WARCRAFT transition to NetEase. We believe this new relationship will promote a consistent level of quality and service in mainland China for each of the games that Blizzard Entertainment is partnering with NetEase on, including WARCRAFT III and STARCRAFT II, as announced last year. In addition, we believe this new relationship positions us well for the long-term, and despite the near-term impact of the transition, we are reaffirming our calendar 2009 financial outlook."
On February 11, 2009, Activision Blizzard provided a calendar year outlook on a GAAP basis of $4.2 billion in net revenues and earnings per diluted share of $0.22 and on a non-GAAP basis of $4.7 billion in net revenues and earnings per diluted share of $0.61.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Blizzard, Inc. is a worldwide online, PC, console and handheld game publisher with leading market positions across every major category of the rapidly growing interactive entertainment software industry.
Activision Blizzard maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, India, Russia, South Korea, China and the region of Taiwan. More information about Activision Blizzard and its products can be found on the company's website.