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Electronic Arts Misses Estimates

SAN FRANCISCO -- Video-games publisher Electronic Arts (ERTS) narrowed its loss for the first fiscal quarter of 2009 but missed analyst expectations.

The company reported a net loss of $95 million, or a loss of 30 cents a share in the quarter vs. a loss of $132 million, or 40 cents a share, a year ago.

Excluding charges, EA reported net loss of $135 million, or a loss of 42 cents a share, compared with a loss of $69 million, or a loss of 22 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue for the quarter rose 41% to $609 million from $431 million a year ago.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting a loss of 34 cents a share on revenue of $639.8 million.

Sales were driven by the launches of Battlefield: Bad Company, UEFA EURO 2008 , Burnout Paradise and continued strength of its game Rock Band launched in partnership with Harmonix and Viacom's (VIA) MTV Networks, said EA. The Battlefield Bad Company game sold 1.6 million copies.

Including all charges, EA reported revenue of $804 million, up from $395 million the year before. During the quarter, EA had a net benefit of $231 million related to the recognition of deferred revenue for some online enabled games.

Shares of EA were down $1.54, or 3.2%, to $45.86 in recent extended trading.

For the fiscal year, EA said it expects revenue to range between $5 billion and $5.3 billion Earnings, excluding items, is expected to range between $1.30 a share and $1.70 a share. Analysts are expecting earnings of $1.59 a share on revenue of $5.15 billion.

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