Shares of Candy Crush-maker King Digital are getting smoked

Candy Crush Saga King DigitalReutersA game mascot on the floor of the New York stock exchange on the day King launched its IPO in 2014.

Shares of Candy Crush-maker King Digital were down as much as 11% in after hours trade on Thursday after its outlook disappointed.

In the first quarter, the company reported adjusted earnings per share of $US0.61, topping expectations for $US0.53, while revenue came in at $US569.3 million above expectations for $US553.8 million. Gross bookings totaled $US604.5 million in the quarter.

The disappointing part of the report, however, was the company’s outlook, with the digital game maker forecasting bookings to decline sequentially, to $US490-$US520 million in the second quarter. The company defines bookings as the “economic benefit” from the sale of items or the purchase of access in a game, but is not quite the same as revenue the company has actually received. It is, however, more or less a proxy for revenue.

In its earnings release, the company said that it expects the “mid-year period to be seasonally softer,” and added that it expects to return to growth in the “latter part of the year.”

Additionally, the company did not announce a special dividend in the first quarter, as it has in previous periods as a way to return cash to shareholders.

In February, the company announced a $US300 million special dividend to shareholders, an announcement that followed a $US150 million special dividend announced back in August 2014.

The company did, however, have a share repurchase plan in the place during the first quarter, buying back $US111 million worth of its stock under a $US150 million plan authorised in January. At the end of the first quarter, King Digital’s cash and equivalents were $US661 million.

As for the company’s games, non Candy Crush-games generated $US375 million in the quarter, good for 62% of total gross bookings, and the company said that 3 of its games were in the top 10 grossing titles in both Apple and Google’s app stores during the quarter.

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