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Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri Boosts

Electronic Arts' Results

By Michele Rosen

Staff Writer

posted: 01:56 pm ET
23 July 1999

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri Boosts Electronic Arts' Results

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri helped game maker Electronic Arts beat analysts' earnings estimates by $0.03 a share, the company announced on June 22.

More than 54,000 copies of the space based strategy game were sold in April, May and June, according to research firm PC Data, bringing the game's retail sales to date to 168,769 units.

Those sales contributed to the $186.1 million in revenue Electronic Arts brought in during the first fiscal quarter, which ended June 30, a four percent increase over the same quarter in the previous year.

The company also generated $2.3 million in net income, or $0.04 a share--less than last year's quarterly results of $3.7 million and $0.06 a share, but $0.03 more than analysts' expectations of $0.01 a share.

The positive results convinced a financial analyst at Deutsche Banc Alex Brown to upgrade his rating on Electronic Arts' stock to strong buy from buy. As of 1:45 PM ET, the company's stock price was up 11.6% to $59 a share.

Electronic Arts was the third largest game company in June based on unit sales, according to PC Data, behind Havas and Hasbro.

Alpha Centauri, which went on sale in February, was created by development house Firaxis Games, founded by legendary game developer Sid Meier. Set in the 22nd century, the game begins as a group of colonists sets off for the Alpha Centauri system. After a meteor strikes the ship, the crew splits into seven factions, which then compete to colonize the world on which they crash land.

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