Zynga Inc Beats Sales Estimates, Shares Jump

Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) released its third quarter earnings report after closing bell tonight, posting losses of 1 cent per share, excluding items, on $176.6 million in revenue. Analysts had been expecting losses of 1 cent per share on $171.3 million in revenue for the quarter.

In the same quarter last year, the game maker reported losses of 3 cents per share on $202.6 million in revenue, both of which were better than Wall Street had been expecting.

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Reported losses this year were 6 cents per share, compared to breakeven last year.

Key metrics in Zynga’s earnings report

Zynga reported $175 million in bookings and $2 million in adjusted EBITDA. The game maker reported a 111% year over year increase in mobile bookings and a 10% sequential increase. Mobile bookings were 55% of total bookings, an increase from 5% in the previous quarter.

Average daily bookings per average daily active user rose from 55 cents to 73 cents, a 34% year over year increase. Zynga had 1.3 million monthly unique users, compared to 1.6 million last year. Daily active users were 26 million, compared to 30 million last year. Monthly active users fell to 112 million from 133 million last year. Monthly unique users fell to 77 million from last year’s 97 million.

Zynga provides guidance

The game maker said it expects the current quarter’s earnings to be between a loss of 1 cent per share and a gain of 1 cent per share. Zynga projects revenue of between $170 million and $200 million. Net losses are expected to be between $51 million and $34 million for the fourth quarter.

For the full year, Zynga expects revenue to be between $668 million and $698 million and net losses of between $231 million and $214 million. Non-GAAP earnings are expected to be between a loss of 2 cents per share and break even.

Zynga has continued to disappoint investors this year, as shares have declined steadily since March when sentiment had started to shift toward the positive end of the spectrum. The game maker has been struggling as it has been unable to repeat the success it had on its earliest title Farmville.

The shift from gaming on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s platform over to mobile essentially took Zynga management by surprise. A little over a year ago, the company managed to convince Don Mattrick to leave Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and become its CEO. Investors may be becoming impatient with Mattrick, however, as there have been few signs that a turnaround is even possible at Zynga.