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Ahead of the Bell: Electronic Arts

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Electronic Arts Inc. surged before Wednesday's opening bell after the video game maker's latest quarterly results and optimistic outlook for the year.

Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia said that the maker of games such as "The Sims," ''Madden NFL" and "EA Sports FIFA" benefited from bigger-than-expected revenue increases from downloads of full games and other content.

Downloaded games are more profitable for Electronic Arts than games sold the traditional way through retailers, said Todd Mitchell of Brean Capital LLC. He lifted his price target on the shares by $5 to $38.

"The turnaround at Electronic Arts under new management has been impressive and we believe the company is well positioned with a rapidly growing install base of (next-generation) consoles," Mitchell wrote in his note to investors.

Electronic Arts shares jumped $4.47, or 16 percent, to $32.52 in premarket trading. The stock has gained 52 percent over the past 12 months.