Electronic Arts made $955 million in earnings during Q1 2013, suffered a 7.3 million monthly active user decline and kicked off program to buy back $500 million worth of shares.
The company’s earnings statement reveals it had 41 million MAU playing its social games at the end of the quarter. This is a 15.9 million (27 percent) MAU decrease year-over-year from Q1 2012, and it’s still significant drop from the 48.3 million (15 percent) MAU the company began the quarter with. Our AppData traffic tracking service also shows the company’s daily active users are at 8.9 million DAU, down year-over-year by 200,000 DAU (2 percent).
The program to purchase back $500 million of shares shows the company has cash in the bank and believes its shares are undervalued, as well as making sure there are fewer shares on the market to short. The move should help stabilize stock prices, which are trading at $11.24 a share at the time of writing.
Revenue for EA’s digital segment (which includes social, mobile and digital downloads) showed continued growth for the fourth straight quarter in a row, increasing to an estimated $324 million in Q1 2013, up 55 percent from Q4 2012. Mobile devices accounted for $79 million; smartphones and tablets increasing 86 percent year-over-year, while feature phones decreased 13 percent. Revenue from social games wasn’t highlighted in the earnings report. You can read a more detailed analysis of EA’s mobile earnings on our sister site, Inside Mobile Apps.
EA’s been trying to reestablish its social games presence over the past year with mixed results. In September 2011, The Sims Social proved to be digital lightning in a bottle, helping the company achieve 102 million MAU and 18 million DAU. Since then, EA’s social games like Risk: Factions, Lucky Gem Casino and Solitaire Blitz haven’t achieved the same kind of success. This quarter saw EA launch two high-profile social games — SimCity Social and Outernauts — which still in the early phases of their life cycles.