Activision has announced preliminary financial results for its first fiscal quarter, showing that the company expects record sales of $650 million - up from previous estimates of $500 million - driven by Kung Fu Panda and both Guitar Hero On Tour and Aerosmith. These are its final results prior to its merger with Blizzard.
The publisher says the Kung Fu Panda launch was the biggest of any DreamWorks licensed property, and called both Guitar Hero launches "record setting", as handheld title On Tour saw the biggest Activision North American DS launch, and Aerosmith a top-five North American multiplatform launch.
Activision Blizzard president and CEO Robert Kotick said the earnings were "the highest ever for a non-holiday quarter," and said that the outperformance would have "further added to our previously given stand-alone fiscal 2009 net revenues and earnings outlook, making it by far the largest and most profitable year in Activision's history."
While the company is not prepared to offer an outlook for the newly merged company, he concluded, "We are extremely excited about the additional possibilities created by the completion of our combination with Vivendi Games last week and remain very optimistic about the long-term opportunities."
He added: "Both Activision and Blizzard Entertainment's businesses have maintained their momentum and Activision Blizzard is well positioned to exceed the financial goals set for the combined company."
[UPDATE: Following these positive financials, Activision Blizzard's shares, already up marginally during regular trading, surged 5% to $34.50 in after-market trading. However, this is still somewhat short of a recent 52-week high of $37.30.]