Midway posts $76 million quarterly loss
July-Sept. losses more than double on charges the Mortal Kombat maker took to cancel underperforming IPs; Redstone quits board.
Last month, Midway revised its estimated earnings for the July-September quarter, predicting its losses would almost double. Today, the company submitted its final earnings report--which revealed a shortfall even worse than last October's grim estimate.
For the three months ended September 30, the company posted a deficit of $75.9 million, or $0.83 per share, on revenues of $36.7 million. That's more than twice the $33.5 million, or $0.37 per share, the Mortal Kombat maker bled out during the same period a year ago. The larger loss includes undisclosed charges related to the cancellation of several unnamed but underperforming games based on licensed IPs.
Matt Booty, the troubled publisher's recently installed permanent president and CEO, exuded determination in a statement. "During the quarter we executed on a series of strategic and financial moves that reinforce our commitment to developing games that meet clear profitability and scheduling goals. While some of those steps negatively impacted earnings, they were necessary to ensure we are better positioned for long-term success," he said. "More importantly, we launched three high quality games, and completed the final touches on our highly anticipated fourth quarter releases."
Critics partially agreed with Booty on the quality of the three games he referred to: TNA iMPACT!, Mortal Kombat Kollection, and the Xbox 360 edition of Unreal Tournament 3. (The latter of which is being expanded.) During the fourth quarter, the publisher has already released the semi-acclaimed Blitz: The League II and will ship its highest-profile 2008 release, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, next week.
Midway believes its holiday lineup will slow its financial hemorrhaging. The company expects a per-share loss of $0.20 on $105 million in quarterly revenue. For the year, that figure increases to a whopping $1.78 per share on $210 million in revenue. If accurate, that annual per-share shortfall will be more than four times the current value of Midway stock, which ended the day at $0.43 on the NASDAQ.
One person who won't be around to see Midway's annual report is Shari Redstone. The daughter of medial mogul Sumner Redstone (who partially owns GameSpot parent CBS) resigned on Friday from her position as chairperson of the publisher's board. She was appointed to the board in 2004, after her father's company, National Amusements Inc., bought a controlling stake in the publisher.