What’s up with EA? EDIT: Warhammer 300k

This is not about Warhammer, but since it was mentioned in early December on the forums I’ve been keeping an eye to the financial charts.

It was mentioned in December (and on a bunch of business sites) because the chart had a new dip, but if you look at how it was going along the year you can notice that the crisis started in September (yeah, Warhammer again, but it’s likely a coincidence and more a problem of world crisis).

Today I think is the day of their earnings conference. I have really no idea on how to read these charts as I know little to nothing about economy, but the chart today reached a new low and is under 15 (whatever 15 means).

STOCK PERFORMANCE: Shares of the Redwood City, Calif.-based company tumbled nearly 57 percent during the quarter to finish at $16.04. In Monday morning trading, the stock hit a new year low of $14.78.

I guess the next few hours will be important? Maybe investors are waiting to see what happens with the conference.

About Warhammer:

EA’s earnings call is in a few weeks and after that, there will be a lot more clarity about our numbers.

First reports already in:

Warhammer® Online: Age of Reckoning®, an MMO from EA’s Mythic Entertainment studio, ended the quarter with over 300K paying subscribers in North America and Europe.

This means 300k as December 31 2008.

Indeed. And flawless victory.

EDIT: Mark Jacobs only comment at this time:

Because not everything that I hoped to talk about was in the earnings call (they had other things to talk about obviously), I’m waiting on guidance from corporate to see if I can add a few additional bit of information that weren’t contained in the call before I write a longer post than this.

Apparently he’s pissed because EA didn’t spin the numbers enough to make them look better.

EDIT2: Comments from EA:

And while we expect to benefit in the future from increased sales from these franchises, generally games with a two on them sell better and do sell with a lower R&D budget.

drive our content direct-to-consumer. This is a strategic initiative that is very important for the long term. In FY09, we made $150 million online investment with limited associated revenue. In FY10, all significant online spending, except for the LucasArts BioWare Star Wars MMO, will be generating positive income. These investments are working. We expect over $500 million in direct-to-digital revenue in fiscal year ’10.

And also for fiscal ’10, we are going to get a full year of Warhammer subscription revenue. We talked about the fact that we are already at 300,000 subs. That is a very ratable and more predictable business, and so that is new for FY10 compared to fiscal ‘09.

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