Last week, we had earnings from Chinese media giant, SINA Corp. SINA as well as video game retailer GameStop Corp GME. We also had Microsoft Corp MSFT bringing its very famous PC game, Solitaire to iOS and Android operating systems.
Recap of the Developments
SINA reported third-quarter 2016 non-GAAP earnings of 56 cents per share, up 43.6% year over year. Net revenue of $274.9 million topped the consensus mark of $255.3 million and increased 21.5% year over year. Advertising revenues moved up 21% year over year to $233.6 million. The upside was primarily driven by strength in advertising related to Weibo (WB). Weibo revenues surged 41.8% year over year to $176.9 million. Monthly active users went up 34% year over year to 297 million. Daily active users were 132 million at quarter-end, up 32%. The strong growth momentum of Weibo advertising was driven by increasing adoption of mobile devices (89% of MAUs were mobile users) and improved monetization.At present, SINA carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
GameStop’s third quarter fiscal 2016 adjusted earnings per share of 49 cents in the quarter beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate but revenues of $1,959.2 million missed the same. On a year-over-year basis, the metrics fell 9.3% and 2.8%, respectively, primarily due to weakness in sales of video game hardware and software. Management gave a bleak outlook for the fourth quarter, which comprises the very important holiday season. Management projected sales in the quarter to decline in the range of 5% to 10%. At present, GameStop carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
2. Reportedly, Microsoft is bringing its well known PC game, Solitaire to mobile phones on both Apple’s iOS and Alphabet’s GOOGL Android platform. The Solitaire Collection will include popular versions like Pyramid, Klondike, Spider, FreeCell and Tripeaks. The premium edition of the game will be priced at $1.99. Also, as per The Verge, Microsoft will be incorporating Xbox Live into the game, enabling users to play with friends as well. Microsoftcarries a Zacks Rank#3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
3. Take Two Interactive’s TTWO 2K division launched its first VR basketball game, NBA 2KVR Experience, with a price tag of $14.99, on Nov 22, 2016. The game which can be played on HTC’s Vive, Sony’s SNE PS VR and Samsung Gear VR, is not yet available on Facebook’s FB Oculus Rift VR headset but is expected to arrive shortly. Undoubtedly, AR/VR and AI are the next steps in technological innovation offering lucrative business opportunities. Per a CNBC report, Otto Berkes, a co-founder of Xbox is of the opinion that AI and VR will mark a new golden era for the gaming industry. Berkes was quoted by CNBC saying “One of the aspects of VR that has incredible potential is interaction and communication – interacting with characters that are both artificial and virtual, being able to blur distance and geography; you can be anywhere and literally in any time. We're entering another golden age of interactive content development." Though the AR/ VR industry is still at a nascent stage, a recent IDC report estimates global revenues of the AR/VR market to grow at a CAGR of 181.3% from $5.2 billion in 2016 to over $162 billion in 2020.
A few days back, NetEase NTES launched its first VR game, Twilight Pioneers on Google’s VR platform, Daydream. Plus, Electronic Arts EA will be releasing two VR games this holiday season, Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: X-wing VR Mission for PlayStation VR and Need for Speed: No Limits for Google’s Daydream platform.
The following table shows the price movement of the major video game companies over both the past five trading days as well as the last six months:
Last 5 Days
Last 6 Months
Over the last six-month period, NetEase surged the most (33.09%). Recently, NetEase reported solid third-quarter 2016 results. The increasing popularity of mobile-based games and the strength of PC games (licensed & self-developed) continue to keep investors interested in the stock. Moreover, higher mobile advertising revenues were an added incentive. NetEase has announced a new $1 billion buyback program for its ADRs over a one-year time frame.
Glu Mobile was down 8.00% over the same time frame due to the underperformance of most of its releases. Its weak third-quarter results were somehow overshadowed by the announcement of a new CEO and acquisition of a majority stake in CrowdStar.
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