Candy Crush maker King Digital surges 15% after earnings beat

King digital candy crushREUTERS/Brendan McDermidA mascot dressed as a character from the mobile game ‘Candy Crush Saga’ walks the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the IPO of Mobile game maker King Digital Entertainment Plc March 26, 2014.

Candy Crush maker King Digital just turned in a better-than-expected quarter and now the stock is surging.

Shares of Candy Crush maker King Digital were up better than 15% in after hours trade on Thursday after the company reported earnings that beat expectations.

In the fourth quarter, the company reported adjusted earnings per share of $US0.57, topping estimates by $US0.10 per share.

In the fourth quarter the company reported adjusted revenue of $US559.2 million and gross bookings of $US586 million.

The company also announced a $US300 million, or $US0.94 per share, special dividend payable to shareholders on March 24.

This is the third straight quarter the company has paid a special dividend to shareholders.

King also announced that on February 6 it signed an agreement to acquire Z2Live, a game development company based in Seattle, Washington. Total consideration for the acquisition consists of $US45 million in cash, and up to $US105 million of additional cash linked to future events.

Additionally, the company is undertaking a share repurchase plan, receiving approval from shareholders on January 29 for a $US150 million program.

Between January 29, 2015 and February 11, the company repurchased $US10 million worth of stock under this program.

The digital game maker, which went public in March 2014, is down about 20% over the last six months.

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