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King Digital Is King: Earnings Beat, Stock Up Almost 20% After-Hours


King Digital Entertainment PLC (NYSE: KING) reported financial results Thursday for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2014 and beat expectations.

Fourth quarter non-GAAP revenue came in at $559.2 million, above estimates of $519.93 million and below the the $601.4 million reported in the year-ago period.

Non-GAAP EPS was $0.57, above estimates of $0.47 and below the $0.64 reported in the prior year period.

Non-GAAP adjusted profit was $184.2 million, down from $204.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA was $237.3 million and the adjusted EBITDA margin was 42 percent.

Fourth quarter gross bookings were $586.3 million, below the $632.1 million reported in the prior year period.

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Monthly active users grew to 533 million, up from 408 million in the prior year period.

For the full year of 2014, gross bookings increased 20 percent to $2.4 billion.

"Our full year and fourth quarter 2014 results demonstrate the strength of our franchises, the extraordinary power of our massive player network and our ability to repeatedly launch new top grossing games," said King CEO, Riccardo Zacconi.

The company declared a special dividend of $0.94 per share (approximately $300 million in aggregate) payable to shareholders of record on March 4, 2015.  The dividend is expected to be paid on March 24, 2015.

Guidance included gross bookings of $575 million to $600 million in first quarter 2015.

The company also announced that on February 6, 2015, it agreed to acquire Z2Live, Inc., a game development company based in Seattle, Washington. Total consideration for the acquisition consists of $45 million in cash and up to $105 million of additional cash linked to future events over a three-year period.

King Digital Entertainment PLC traded up almost 20 percent in Thursday's after hours trading.


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