This last week I spent three days working with my great client EA on their Financial Intelligence program. EA’s headquarters is located in Redwood City California on the peninsula just south of San Francisco. This is a great area to visit anytime but especially in the winter. I got a nice 7 mile run along the bay one morning something you just can’t do in Utah. Another great thing about the California bay area is the great food. Of course I hit my favorite place in San Mateo called Kingfish. At Kingfish you should order the Ahi Tuna or Fish tacos for your entree and the grilled artichoke for the appetizer. I could go on but my office manager Kara wants me to talk about the classes and finance so I’m sorry but that is the end of the food report.
The EA classes were great this week. EA is really doing great financially. They have operating margins well over 20% and they are starting to show some revenue growth. These classes are much more positive than the ones I did when I started working with this client in 2008. In the 2008-09 fiscal year EA lost over $1.0 billion dollars on $4 billion of revenue. For fiscal year 2016 EA is forecasting profit in excess of $1.0 billion to investors on Wall Street.
The first two days we had two of EA’s IT management team. I love training technical people because they are great with the numbers and ask some tough questions. During these two days we were lucky enough to have Blake Jorgensen EA CFO drop in and take questions. It’s always great when company executives step in and get involved in my training sessions. Blake talked with groups about the importance of cash flow. He said that our profits are great but the real driver of our stock price on Wall Street was the great cash generation those profits have produced. EA had an all-time record free cash flow number this last year of nearly $900 million.
The third day we trained some game development groups. This group was very interested in the EA training game called Duality where class attendees run their own games where they try to increase the game profitability. It’s a great learning tool and really hit the spot with this team.
It was great to reconnect with my EA partners and get back into the swing of corporate training classes in 2016. All three days were great days for finance!