Electronic Arts shares tumble on Star Wars game delay

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A man plays Star Wars Battlefront II on opening day of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) at the Los Angeles Convention Center on June 13, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Electronic Arts shares tumbled Wednesday after the game-maker announced it was postponing the release of a Star Wars action title.

The company also said it was closing the studio that had been working on the game. It will push back the release date of the as-yet unnamed Star Wars action-adventure game, which had been slated for the fiscal-year 2019 starting in April.

The stock fell almost 3 percent Wednesday, to $112.39. The company confirmed press reports about the delayed timetable and studio closure after the market closed on Tuesday. The stock is still up more than 42 percent on the year.

Analysts at Atlantic Equities estimated the game would sell about 8 million copies.

“While disappointing, this is not a view changer,” they wrote, citing the company’s ability to generate sales off its existing portfolio. The analysts cut their fiscal year 2019 earnings per share estimate for the company by 2 percent, but they still project solid growth, particularly as its FIFA soccer game franchise appears set to get a boost from the World Cup.

Analysts at Wedbush kept an “outperform” rating on the company’s stock, with a 12-month price target of $136.00. Analysts at KeyBanc Capital Markets issued a note saying they were not revising their estimates for the stock because of uncertainty around whether EA would move new titles to 2019 to compensate.

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