Electronic Arts Reports $365M Profit for FY 2021 First Quarter, FIFA 20 Player Acquisition Up 100%

Game publisher Electronic Arts reported its earnings for the first quarter of its fiscal year 2021, which ended June 30. The developer and publisher recorded a 21% increase in net revenues to $1.46B USD from $1.21B in the same period last year.

For the period, EA recorded a 78% year-over-year growth in net bookings, which is calculated by adding total net revenues to the change in deferred net revenues for online and mobile game fees, as COVID-19 lockdown measures were in effect in most of the company’s major markets. The majority of that growth was contributed by the company’s net bookings for its console titles, which increased by 98% to $824M, while PC and mobile net bookings increased by 74% to $340M and 32% to $226M, respectively.

In its earnings call, EA highlighted several milestones for its game metrics, including FIFA 20 player acquisition increasing by more than 100% year-over-year, Madden NFL 20 growing nearly 140% in the same metric, and Apex Legends newly launched Season 5 reached the game’s highest engagement levels since Season 1. During the call, EA COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen said, “Player engagement through the first quarter was exceptionally high, and well above our forecast.”

In total, EA generated a net income of $365M or $1.25 per share for its FY 2021 Q1, which is a decrease of 74% compared to $1.42B in the same period of FY 2020. The significant decline in profits year-over-year can mostly be attributed to $1.08B in income tax benefits realized during FY 2020 Q1 as EA completed an internal transfer of some of its intellectual property rights to its Swiss subsidiary.

The company used parts of its profits to repurchase 747K of its own shares for an aggregated sum of $78M during the quarter as part of its $2.4B two-year share repurchase program initiated in May 2018.

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