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Activision posts higher 2Q net income

NEW YORK (AP) -- Video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. posted higher net income in the second quarter thanks to lower expenses and provided a profit forecast that matched Wall Street's expectations.

Activision is in the process of regaining independence from French conglomerate Vivendi SA, which is selling its majority stake in the company for $8.2 billion, reducing its holdings to 12 percent. Last week Activision announced preliminary results for the second quarter, and made them official on Thursday.

The company behind "Call of Duty" and "World of Warcraft" earned $324 million, or 28 cents per share, in the April-June period. That's up from $185 million, or 16 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue slid 2 percent to $1.05 billion, but a decline in operating costs was enough to push net earnings higher.

On an adjusted basis, which Wall Street watches more closely, Activision earned 8 cents per share in the latest quarter, down from 20 cents per share a year ago. Adjusted revenue fell 42 percent to $608 million.

Adjusted figures exclude special items and account for the effects of deferring revenue and related cost of sales for games with online components. Like other video game companies, Activision spreads these out over time, while the game is played, rather than all at once.

On that basis analysts expected earnings of 7 cents per share on revenue of $605.4 billion.

For the current quarter, Activision expects adjusted earnings of 3 cents per share on revenue of $585 million. Analysts expected 3 cents per share on revenue of $579.7 million.

Shares of Santa Monica, Calif.-based Activision slid 32 cents to $17.87 in after-hours trading. The stock closed up 22 cents at $18.19 in the regular session.