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.
EA's biggest rival Activision Blizzard ( ATVID) will report its earnings Thursday though the company pre-announced its results earlier this month. Smaller competitor THQ ( THQI) will report its quarterly results Wednesday. EA is in the midst of a $2 billion hostile buyout of the maker of the Grand Theft Auto franchise, Take-Two Interactive ( TTWO).