Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) shares surged on Friday after the video game publisher posted record quarterly revenue and announced a share buyback program.
The Santa Monica, California-based company said revenue rose 49 percent to $2.01 billion in the quarter ended Dec.31. While net income rose 60 percent to $254 million. Both sales and profit topped analysts’ expectations.
Activision Blizzard shares jumped as much as 17 percent to $46.52 in early trading in New York.
The company said the record revenue was boosted by its acquisition of “Candy Crush” maker King Digital and high engagement. About $436 million of revenue was brought by King Digital. The company said people spent a record amount of time playing its games, help by its successful multiplayer shooter game “Overwatch”, which had more 25 million registered players since launching in May.
The company also announced to increased its cash dividend by 15 percent too $0.30 per share and authorized $1 billion share buyback program over the next two years, beginning Feb.13,2017.
“Our record performance in 2016 further strengthened our position as the world’s leading stand-alone interactive entertainment company,” Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said in a statement. “The launch of Blizzard’s ‘Overwatch’ created a major new franchise, while King’s mobile advertising tests are very promising as the basis for meaningful new revenue streams.”