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Shanda Interactive Entertainment Q1 Profit Rises on 42% Higher Revenues - Update

Tuesday, Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd. (SNDA), an interactive entertainment media company, reported an increase in first quarter earnings, as revenues improved year-on-year driven by MMORPGs related revenues.

The Shanghai, China-based company's first quarter net income rose to RMB 361.0 million or US$52.8 million, compared to RMB 288.8 million in the same quarter last year. On a per ADS basis, net income was RMB 5.28 or US$0.78, compared to RMB 3.94 per share in the year ago quarter.

On a non-GAAP basis, net income advanced 23.2% to RMB 374.7 million or US$54.8 million, up from RMB 304.2 million in the previous year quarter. On a non-GAAP basis, earnings for the quarter were RMB 5.48 per ADS or US$0.80 per ADS, compared to RMB 4.14 per ADS in the prior year quarter.

On average, 14 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $0.74 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Quarterly revenues jumped 42.0% to RMB 1.1 billion or US$162.0 million from RMB 779.8 million in the prior-year period. Analysts estimated revenues of $155.66 million.

Tianqiao Chen, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "Shanda achieved another solid quarter of growth during the first quarter of 2009, which further demonstrates the Company's leadership position in the interactive entertainment media industry."

Online games related revenues, including MMORPGs and casual games were RMB 1.062 billion or US$155.4 million in the quarter, up 40.3% from RMB 757.4 million a year ago.
MMORPGs related revenues increased 47.4% year-over-year and 8.0% quarter-over-quarter to RMB 944.5 million or US$138.2 million, accounting for 85.3% of net revenues. The sequential growth in MMORPG related revenues was primarily driven by the continued release of expansion packs for the existing games as well as newly launched games in the first quarter of 2009.

Casual games related revenues in the quarter increased 1.1% year-over-year and increased 21.3% quarter-over-quarter to RMB 117.9 million or US$17.2million.

SNDA closed Tuesday's trading on Nasdaq at $60.40, up $0.17 or 0.28% on a volume of about 1.43 million shares. In the after hours, the share lost $0.14 or 0.23% and traded at $60.26.

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