Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) is set to release its earnings numbers for the three months through September this afternoon after the market closes on Wall Street. The company’s shares trended up a fraction on today’s market in anticipation of the release of the report. The third quarter tends to be a slow one for games companies as they invest in preparation for the fourth quarter.

activision blizzard

In the run up to the release of these results Bloomberg surveyed 20 analysts following Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI). The analysts were looking for earnings of 4 cents per share from the games company by consensus. Revenue is expected to come in at $594 million.

Activision Blizzard earnings

In the same three months of 2012 Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) managed to earn 15 cents per share for the three months on revenue totaling $751 million. In the months running up to the release of the next generation Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) games consoles sales of console games have flagged.

The two consoles are expected to be launched in the month of November, and the fourth quarter should see a sales boom at Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI). Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 77 cents in the fourth quarter on revenue totaling $2.3 billion. The biggest console games that the company has in its stable are in the Call of Duty franchise. The company launched the latest game in that franchise, Call of Duty: Ghosts, on November 5.

The games industry has never been a particularly stable one, but Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) has been one of the more stable companies out there. The firm’s blockbusters, which include the Call of Duty franchise and the online game World of Warcraft, have insulated it from much of the instability that other game makers face on a regular basis.

Activision Blizzard performance

Shares in Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) have had an exceptional year in 2013. The company’s stock has gained more than 55% since January 1, and it is still less highly valued than many competing software companies. Activision Blizzard currently trades at just under 14 times 2012 earnings.

The fourth quarter is the most important for the games industry, but it will weigh in even more heavily in 2013. The release of the new games consoles will be watched closely, and the sale of games on the platforms will be the most important indicators for Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) in the months to come.