Zynga bounces back in Q4 thanks to FarmVille 2 release

Following months of losses and company-wide restructuring, Zynga has surprised analysts by reporting a fourth-quarter profit.

The social game developer announced that it brought in revenues of $311.2 million (£199 million) and earnings per share of $0.01 (1p) during the final months of 2012, a significant boost from the expected revenues of $212 million (£135.5 million) and earnings per share of -£0.03 (-2p).

The launch of FarmVille 2, the sequel to its most popular title, drove the quarter’s revenues, Zynga said, describing the release as “the biggest highlight of the quarter.”

During the final months of 2012, Zynga increased its monthly active usership to 298 million people from 240 million the same period the previous year, though that figure dropped four per cent from the number of monthly active users in the third quarter of 2012. Overall in 2012, Zynga reported a deficit of $209.4 million (£134 million) on revenues of $1.28 billion (£820 million).

Despite a successful fourth-quarter, however, the firm’s future is still uncertain. It predicts losses of $12 million - $32 million (£7.7 million - £20.4 million) during the first quarter of 2013. And following changes to its partnership with Facebook, Zynga has its work cut out for it in the coming months.