‘Milestone year’ sees EA stock hit $100 for first time

EA’s share price passed the $100 mark yesterday after what boss Andrew Wilson described as a milestone year.

Q4 revenues jumped 16 per cent to $1.53bn, although net income fell nearly 40 per cent to $566m. However, while physical game sales were flat, digital revenues are soaring.

Furthermore, the company later told investors that full game downloads now account for 33 per cent of unit sales. It expects that number to climb to 38 per cent this year, with digital perhaps even growing to claim 40 per cent of all full game downloads across the entire industry.

Added to the record net revenue (up ten per cent at $4,845bn) and operating cash flow, this all culminated in EA stock reaching a new record high. The publisher’s market cap is also approaching $30bn.

Battlefield 1 has to date welcomed 19m players, which is about 50 per cent up on what Battlefield 4 achieved in the same period. FIFA 17, meanwhile, has 21m players, with Ultimate Team players up 13 per cent year-on-year.

"Fiscal 2017 was a milestone year for Electronic Arts, defined by groundbreaking games and live services that delivered more fun and connected more players with their friends," CEO Andrew Wilson said.

CFO Blake Jorgensen added: "We generated record net sales and operating cash flow in fiscal 2017, driven by our ongoing transition to digital as well as our increasing success with live services. Our long-term vision, to leverage deep player engagement to drive growth and profitability, is enabling us to execute on our near-term financial goals to increase revenue, earnings and cash generation."

Wilson went on to confirm that EA is now also looking to bring additional titles to the Nintendo Switch, which could be an important boost to the console’s long-term future.

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