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Strong booking growth lifts Zynga’s (ZNGA) Q3 earnings; stock gains

Earnings of Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) rose in the third quarter amid a marked increase in bookings. The bottom-line exceeded the market’s forecast, while revenues missed. The company also revised up its full-year guidance and the stock moved up Wednesday evening after the regular trading hours.

Revenues of the gaming firm surged 48% annually to $345 million during the three-month period but missed the estimates. There was a 59% surge in bookings to $395 million. Meanwhile, average mobile daily active users declined 1%.

Zynga mobile performance trend

In the live services, Empires & Puzzles and Merge Dragons! achieved record revenue and bookings. Since its recent launch, Game of Thrones Slots Casino became the fastest growing Slots title in the first full quarter.

The San Francisco, California-based company reported net profit of $230.08 million or $0.24 per share for the September-quarter, compared to $10.20 million or $0.01 per share in the same period of last year. Analysts were looking for a slower growth.

Related: Zynga Q2 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

The company raised its full-year 2019 revenue guidance to $1.28 billion, up 41% year-over-year and an increase of $42 million from the prior guidance. The outlook for full-year bookings has been revised up to $1.55 billion, up 59% from last year and $46 million above the previous forecast.

Zynga said the improvement in operating conditions has put it on track to deliver the best annual revenue and bookings in history. It expects to build on the momentum and achieve organic revenue and bookings growth in low double digits in fiscal 2020.

For the fourth quarter, the company expects revenues to be $365 million. It also sees December-quarter bookings increasing to $415 million. Deferred revenue is expected to grow by $50 million.

Also see: Electronic Arts Q2 results beat expectations

After falling sharply from its post-IPO peak about seven years ago, Zynga’s shares had remained stagnant until recently. The stock regained momentum towards the end of last year and gained steadily since then. It closed Wednesday’s regular trading session higher and gained further during the after-hours session.

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