Nintendo had already braced itself for a rough fiscal year ending later in March, and the company's third quarter results only pave the way. For the three month period ended December 31st 2013, Nintendo posted net income of 9.6 billion yen ($93.9 million USD), a 77 percent year-on-year decrease, while operating profit fell 6.9 percent to 21.7 billion yen ($212.3 million USD). According to Bloomberg, Nintendo will be buying back as many as 10 million of its shares to the tune of 125 billion yen ($1.2 billion USD) in order to reward shareholders during a rough period.
It's worth noting that Nintendo actually achieved profitability overall for the nine month period ended December 31st, 2013. The company managed to post profit of 10.2 billion yen ($98.7 million USD), though this is still a 29.9 percent year-over-year decrease. Revenue fell 8.1 percent year-over-year to 499.1 billion yen ($4.8 billion USD). Nintendo still forsees annual loss at this rate, as the company is bracing for a rough fourth quarter where it expects revenue to plummet significantly.
A major contributing factor will be poor Wii U hardware sales, which only totalled 2.41 million units across the first nine months of its current fiscal year. Lifetime-to-date sales for the Wii U are now at some 5.86 million units worldwide. Contrast that to lifetime sales of the PlayStation 4, which are already at 4.2 million units (and counting) since launch last November. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata admitted the "Wii U isn't in good shape", a reality his company must take into account as it prepares a strategy for turnaround. Iwata has pledged to eat a 50 percent cut in pay in response to the poor results.
3DS hardware sales reached 11.65 million units while software sales hit 57.25 million during this nine month period. Pokemon X and Y sales in particular are now at 11.61 million units worldwide since launch last October, which is certainly a lot more than the Wii U can say for itself.