EA Mobile sparkles in EA's gloom with Q1 FY13 sales up 21% to $69 million

Elsewhere console transition continues to bite

EA Mobile sparkles in EA's gloom with Q1 FY13 sales up 21% to $69 million

EA (NASDAQ: EA) has announced its preliminary Q1 FY13 financials for the 3 months ending 30 June.

EA Mobile had revenues of $69 million, up 21 percent year-on-year.

This was 7 percent of the company's total sales during the period.

EA Mobile's growth isn't totally unexpected as the current figures include all PopCap's mobile sales; something that wasn't fully included 12 months ago when EA distributed and published some of its titles.

EA also pointed to non-GAAP mobile game sales of $78 million, suggesting it thinks the business unit's sales are stronger than listed by US official GAAP accounting principles.

However, the Q1 figures were down on last quarter's record $87 million, which was particularly boosted by the performance of FIFA World Class Soccer on GREE.

Mind the gap

Overall, EA continues to stress its ability to generate cash and build its digital services business.

Taking into account all of its businesses, it's generated $1.3 billion over the past 12 months from digital sales, and $307 million over the past 12 months in operating cash flow.

However, during Q1 as its core console business continues to decline, operating cash flow was negative $244 million as it dipped into its cash reserves.

"We continue to make progress in our goal of becoming the leading digital entertainment company," said EA Labels' president Frank Gibeau.

"Over the last twelve months, we generated over $1.3 billion in non-GAAP digital net revenue, and approximately two-thirds of our non-GAAP net revenue in the first fiscal quarter was in digital."

In terms of official GAAP numbers, during Q1 EA had sales of $955 million, down 4 percent year-on-year, and net income of $201 million, down 9 percent year-on-year.

3DS bounce

Compared to its strong mobile performance, EA's portable gaming business on Nintendo and Sony handhelds remain small, with PSP and PS Vita sales during the quarter down 9 percent to $10 million.

Game sales on Nintendo hardware were up 13 percent however to $9 million.

Combined into its mobile and handheld category, total sales were up 16 percent to $88 million during the quarter.

EA listed 41 million monthly active users in social games, up 28 percent year-on-year.

Its Origin gaming platform has 21 million users, including 9 million on mobile.

Floating or drowning

The company ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $919 million, down $374 million compared to 3 months ago.

Despite this, it will be buying back up to $500 million of its stock to try and lift its share price, which has been steadily falling for over 12 months.

Yet, EA doesn't expect anything to change soon with net revenue for FY13 expected to be $3.90 to $4.05 billion, with the company breaking even or making a loss over the 12 months.

[source: EA IR (PDF)]