Sebastian slashes Q3 EA estimate, says more cost cuts to come

By Patrick Garratt, Monday, 8 December 2008 12:21 GMT

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Lazard Capital’s Colin Sebastian’s significantly dropped his outlook on EA, saying several holiday franchises are tracking lowere than expected and that more cost-cutting is likely to be announced in the coming quarters.

“Specifically,” he said in a note this afternoon, “we believe several EA titles are tracking below plan at retail this holiday, including Need for Speed Undercover (with disappointing reviews), new franchise Mirror’s Edge, and Rock Band 2. Solid sales of Dead Space, FIFA 09, and Left4Dead are helping to offset the weaker titles, in our view.”

The analyst reduced his Q3 revenue estimate from $2.07 billion to $1.23 billion.

“We believe further cost and franchise reductions are likely,” he added.

“Importantly, we believe EA is continuing to review its cost structure and franchise base, and it is possible that management will announce further cuts in headcount and the development pipeline (including existing franchises) over the coming quarters.”

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