First Official Nintendo Switch Sales Number Is Out, And It Beat Estimates

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The first official sales data for Nintendo Switch is now available, as the Japanese company announced its final quarter results. The console was released on March 3, and the company sold 2.74 million units in March alone, beating its own estimate of 2 million units. The company also gave upbeat guidance for the Switch.

Legend of Zelda vs. Nintendo Switch sales

In Japan, a total of 600,000 Switch units were sold between March 3 and March 31 (the time between the launch and the quarter’s end). During the same period in the United States, a total of 1.2 million units were sold, whereas another 940,000 Switch units were sold in Europe, Australia and beyond.

Overall, the company posted revenue of 489 billion yen ($4.39 billion) and an operating profit of 29.4 billion yen ($264 million) for the financial year 2016. Revenue dropped 3% year over year, whereas operating profit dropped 11%. However, this does not come as a surprise, considering that Nintendo had a grim performance throughout 2016 with a declining home console platform, notes The Verge. The real test will be when the company announces its earnings next year, which will include full-year performance of the Switch.

The company also added about 50 billion yen from related entities such as The Pokemon Company and from selling its part ownership of the Seattle Mariners. During the conference call, the gaming company stated that keeping the consoles aside, its games also earned money.

Over 2.76 million copies of The Legend of Zelda: Breadth of the Wild were sold for the new console, more than the sales of the Nintendo Switch. The number does not even factor in sales of the game on the Wii U, which, if added, total to 3.84 million copies. However, the figure is grim when compared to Pokemon Sun and Moon, of which there were 15.44 million sold for the 3DS, notes Engadget.

Nintendo Switch to be a bigger hit than original Wii

For fiscal 2017, the Japanese company expects an operating profit of around 60 billion yen from 750 billion yen in revenue. Nintendo expects to sell 10 million units for the current financial year. This means it is looking to sell over 13 million units by April.

It is not just Nintendo which is upbeat about the Switch; Morgan Stanley also feels that the Switch has a lot of room to grow and is “insufficiently priced into the stock.” In a note to clients, analyst Masahiro Ono resumed coverage of Nintendo with an Overweight rating and price target of ¥33,000, representing upside of 18%.

“Since the March 3 Switch launch, Nintendo has outperformed TOPIX, but probably not beyond the point where pre-launch expectations are priced in; we doubt the success/failure of the real game console cycle is properly reflected,” the analyst says.

Ono believes that the Switch console will be an even bigger hit than the original Wii, notes Business Insider. According to the analyst, annual sales for the console will increase for the next three years from 8.7 million in 2018 to 18 million in 2020 and will start dropping by 2021, but even then, annual sales will be around 12.5 million.

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