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Activision Blizzard Tops Estimates, Hikes Outlook on Call of Duty

Video game maker's results boosted by in-game sales as coronavirus closures lead to surge in gaming.

Activision Blizzard, Inc.  (ATVI) - Get Activision Blizzard, Inc. Report raised its outlook and reported better-than-expected first-quarter revenue and earnings after the bell Tuesday, boosted by in-game sales in its latest “Call of Duty” franchises.

The company reported revenue of $2.07 billion and earnings per share of 98 cents.

In the same period a year ago the company posted earnings of 58 cents a share on sales of $1.5 billion.

Activision had been expected to report earnings of 70 cents a share, on sales of $1.8 billion, based on a FactSet survey of 28 analysts.

“Our employees continue to demonstrate exceptional performance under challenging circumstances,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, in a statement. “That relentless drive across our franchises produced strong first quarter results that were well ahead of expectations. Our continued overperformance enables us to raise our outlook for the full year,” Kotick added.

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For the year, Activision now forecasts non-GAAP revenue of $8.37 billion and non-GAAP earnings per share of $3.42.

The company forecasted second-quarter revenue of $2.135 billion and non-GAAP earnings per share of 91 cents.

The company said its Activision segment revenue grew 72% year over year, helped by in-game revenues from its “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War” and “Warzone” games as well as strong premium sales and its “Call of Duty Mobile” platform. It said Its King segment revenue rose 22% year-over-year, driven by strong growth for “Candy Crush.”

Shares of Activision rose $4.01, or 4.5%, to $92.70 in after-hours trading Tuesday.  In the regular session the stock had fallen $2.46, or 2.7%.'s Jim Cramer recently commented on Activision in the Lightning Round segment of his Mad Money program on CNBC.