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EA Lowers Financial Outlook, Stock Tumbles

Who said that the video game industry was recession proof? Proving that it isn’t, mega-publisher Electronic Arts is revising an already dismal financial outlook. The company announced that it expects net revenue and earnings per share for fiscal year 2009 to be below the financial guidance previously provided on October 30, 2008. The revised expectations are primarily the result of lower than expected sales across North America and Europe.

“While we saw significant improvement in the overall quality of our key products this year, we are disappointed that our holiday slate is not meeting our sales expectations,” said John Riccitiello, Chief Executive Officer. “Given this performance and the uncertain economic environment, we are taking steps to reduce our cost structure and improve the profitability of our business.”

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Mr. Riccitiello added, “While we are cutting costs, we remain committed to investing in great game quality, in new properties and in our direct-to-consumer initiatives. We will be launching several new titles and online games in fiscal 2010.” Following this news, EA shares dropped to $16.85 in early trading on Wednesday, down from a previous close of $19.35.