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Activision Blizzard Continues Torrid Pace

SAN FRANCISCO - Video games publisher Activision Blizzard (ATVID) beat analysts expectations for the first quarter, as expected.

Net income for the quarter was $59 million, or 18 cents a share, vs. net income of $27.8 million, or 9 cents a share, the year before.

Excluding expenses, Activision posted net income of $74.3 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with net income of $32.8 million and earnings of 11 cents a share, a year ago.

Activision's revenue for the quarter, which were largely driven by sales of its Guitar Hero and Kung Fu Panda games, rose 32% to $654.2 million from $495.5 million a year ago.

Shares of Activision were down 38 cents, or 1.1%, to $35.60 in recent trading.

The company's earnings report wasn't a surprise because it preannounced its results earlier this month.

The results also are on a standalone basis, from the period before the closing of Activision's merger with Vivendi Games.

On July 9, Vivendi and Activision completed the deal to create a new company Activision Blizzard that would combine Activision and the Vivendi Games division, which includes the blockbuster game World of Warcraft.

For the second quarter, Activision Blizzard expects revenue of $636 million and a loss of 25 cents a share. Excluding the $16 million revenue from the historical Vivendi Games businesses that the company intends to dispose of or exit, it expects revenue of $620 million.

Excluding charges, the company expects EPS of 8 cents, a penny higher than Street expectations.

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