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Electronic Arts Cuts Guidance

Electronic Arts (ERTS) lowered its estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, primarily because of lower-than-expected sales in North America and Europe.

The company's stock fell to $58.35 in late trading; it closed the regular session at $66.35. Other video-game software makers, such as Activision (ATVI), Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) and THQ (THQI), slipped in sympathy.

EA said after the bell Monday that it now expects revenue of $3.1 billion to $3.125 billion with earnings of $1.62 to $1.64 a share, and earnings before items of $1.70 and $1.72 a share.

The company had previously expected revenue of $3.275 billion to $3.325 billion and earnings of $1.82 to $1.87 a share and earnings before items of $1.90 to $1.95.

A Thomson First Call survey of analysts had expected the company to earn $1.93 a share before items on revenue of $3.3 billion.

"These results are clearly disappointing," said Larry Probst, chairman and CEO. "While our new releases are performing reasonably well, they have not been able to offset a significant falloff in catalog sales."

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