THQ Fights to Strong First Quarter

THQ earnsTHQ is a company still at work turning itself around but the waypoints along the trail show its clearly making progress and moving in the right direction.   A day after winning an arbitration ruling over Jakks Pacific, the Agoura Hills game developer reported a record setting first quarter.

For the three months ended June 30th, revenue soared 77% to $243.5m.   Net income was $6.4m, or 9 cents a share, compared to a loss of $27.2m, or 41 cents a share, last year.  Less one time charges for restructuring and stock compensation, THQ earned $6.9m, or 10 cents a share (compared to a loss of 38 cents last year).

Analysts were expecting a loss of 8 cents a share on revenue of $203.5.

The consensus-topping result directly contrasts weak earnings at some rivals and also appears to temper questions about the interactive gaming industry’s current health.    In this climate, the message seems to be: consumers are buying but they’re buying selectively.  Quality content is essential. 

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Earnings Watch: Viacom and DreamWorks Animation

viacom earns graphicTuesday, Viacom delivered some good news. The company said its premium movie channel joint venture, Epix (developed jointly with Lionsgate and MGM), has signed a carrier deal with VerizonViacom also said it was “very pleased” with advance bidding (called “up fronts”) for commercial time on its cable properties in the upcoming TV season.  The ad sector, CEO Philippe Dauman suggested, is showing signs of recovery.  What was less positive, however, was Viacom’s performance in the quarter ended June 30th.

Adjusted earnings (earnings less severance charges of 3 cents per share) came in at 49 cents a share for the second quarter, the company reported.   Down 23% year over year, that was just good enough to beat analyst’s consensus expectations of 48 cents (Thomson Reuters) but revenue numbers missed. 

Analysts projected revenue of $3.5b.  Viacom totaled up $3.3b in revenue for Q2, a 14% drop over the same period last year.

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Ubisoft Q1 Misses the Mark

game earnsAmidst solid annual earnings last April, French game publisher Ubisoft waved a caution flag and warned its year over year sales results would likely slip for the quarter ended June 30th .   Maybe they should have grabbed a megaphone to broadcast the revenue warning too.

Today, the company reported first quarter sales 12.6% below guidance. (release (PDF))

For Q1 2009-10, Ubisoft’s sales came in at EUR 83m, down 50.6%.

The company blamed a combination of market conditions and surprise sales trends for the result. Casual games for the DS were among those singled out

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Applevine: Rumored Apple Tablet in 2010?

applevine netbook rumorsSometimes when a company says they aren’t doing something,  they really aren’t.  But other times, brush-off’s hide another message.  Sometimes, lost in careful wording there’s a different truth.   As Shakespeare famously put it “the lady doth protest too much.”   When denials are over-emphasized something is going on.

Is Apple hiding something behind denials a netbook is in the product queue?  Some think so. 

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Microsoft Misses: Q4 Earnings, Quick Look

It was another rough quarter for Microsoft.  After seeing net income sink 32% in the third quarter, the company reported Thursday that its fourth quarter dropped off 29%. 

Fourth quarter net income was $3.05b, or 34 cents a share, down from $4.3b or 46 cents a share last year.  The results include onetime charges equal to 2 cents a share. 

Revenue for the quarter sank 17% to $13.1b.    Analysts expected a much stronger revenue performance with estimates forecasting a result of $14.37b (Thomson Reuters poll).

Looking at the full year, it was the first time in Microsoft’s history annual sales shrank, falling off 3.3%.

The good news CFO Chris Liddell suggested during the conference call was there are “signs we’ve seen the worst.”  The bad news, it will take some time to recover.

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Yahoo Cost Cutting Carries Q2

The saying goes “there is more than one way to skin a cat.”  The same is true when it comes to managing corporate earnings.  Yahoo demonstrated that Tuesday.  Despite revenue plunging 13%,  the company managed to eke out positive  earnings growth near 8% thanks to aggressive cost cutting.

Overall, for the second quarter Yahoo reported net income of $141m, or 10 cents a share, up from $131m or 9 cents a share for the same period a year ago.  Revenue came in at $1.573b.  Revenue less traffic acquisition costs was $1.14b.

Analyst consensus expectations were for net income of 8 cents a share on revenue (less TAC) of $1.14b. Yahoo’s result was just good enough to beat it.

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Apple Cranks out Solid Q3

measure apple earnsThe economy continues to be a drag on earnings for many consumer technology companies but Apple isn’t one of them. After the close of markets Tuesday, the company reported 3rd quarter earnings of $1.24b, or $1.35 a share, up from $1.07b, or $1.19 a share for the same period a year ago.

For the quarter ended June 27th, Apple’s revenue grew 12% to $8.34b  and gross margins jumped to 36.3%. 

Where competitors have seen revenue and earnings falter, Apple surged.

Neither Apple’s prior guidance for earnings of   95 cents to $1 per share on revenue of $7.7b to $7.9b nor Wall Street’s more realistic consensus forecast of $1.17 per share on $8.2b in revenue proved close to the reality.

In the third quarter, concerns about an otherwise contracting PC market impacting sales were a non-issue as Mac sales more than held up.

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