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Nintendo is profitable again

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Nintendo's consolidated financial results (PDF link) for fiscal year 2015 shows a profitable company, reversing a trend of losses that dates back to 2012.

Today, Nintendo disclosed net sales of $4.61 billion (5.49 billion yen) and an operating income of $207.83 million for the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2015. Thanks to the profit, Nintendo decided to pay a year-end dividend (PDF link) to stockholders.

In part, Nintendo's financial success is due to "depreciation of the yen against the U.S. dollar at the end of the period compared to the exchange rate at the end of the previous fiscal year," according to today's document. According to the company, 75.4 percent of its sales came from outside of Japan.

Today's results reverse the corse of a disappointing few financial years for the company. In April 2012, Nintendo reported its first annual earnings loss, and subsequent earnings reports have generally followed that trend. Exactly one year ago, for example, Nintendo reported a $456 million loss in operating income for the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2014.

THE NINTENDO 3DS FAMILY

Today, Nintendo highlighted sales of the 3DS family of handheld hardware, which now includes the Nintendo 3DS, 3DS XL, 2DS, New Nintendo 3DS and the New 3DS XL, with global sales that reached 8.73 million units. That's slightly less than the 9 million units, based on its most recent forecast (PDF link) from January.

Nintendo said that Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS had "robust sales" with sales of 9.94 million units and 6.75 million units respectively, while characterizing "steady sales" of Tomodachi Life, Mario Kart 7 and The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D, each of which sold more than 2 million units each. Thanks also to "a number of hit titles from third-party publishers," none of which Nintendo named, 3DS software sales reached 62.74 million units.

Lifetime 3DS family sales 52.06 million units. Nintendo expects to sell 7.6 million 3DS units between April 2015 and March 2016.

WII U

Wii U console sales reached 3.38 million units, below Nintendo's most recent forecast (PDF link) from January, which predicted sales of 3.6 million units. Wii U software sales reached 24.40 million units. Nintendo highlighted "two hit titles" released last fiscal year, Mario Kart 8 (5.11 million units) and Super Smash Bros for Wii U (3.65 million units).

Lifetime unit sales of the Wii U, which was released in November 2012, total 9.54 million as of March 2015. Nintendo expects to sell 3.4 million Wii U units between April 2015 and March 2016.

FISCAL YEAR 2016

Looking to the fiscal year that will end March 31, 2016, Nintendo is predicting $4.77 billion in net sales for and an operating income of $419.11 million the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016.

Nintendo wants to keep selling the software it already released and introduce new titles "in order to further expand the installed bases." Nintendo's already doing that, in part, with downloadable content for Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.

Nintendo also mentioned its plans for smart devices, which it announced as a partnership with DeNA in March, and the revenue that it could generate.

"In addition," the document reads, "a new source of revenue is expected from a gaming application for smart devices which will be released this year."

Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata said shortly after the announcement that the companies plan to release the first products of that partnership, including a game and a membership service, this year.

According to today's document, Nintendo acquired 15,081,000 shares of DeNA on April 2 for $184.49 million, while DeNA acquired 1,759,400 of Nintendo stock also for $184.49 million.

Nintendo also hopes to stimulate demand for its toys-to-life amiibo line by expanding the product to cards and increasing the games and systems compatible with the accessories.