Nintendo Shocks Investors by Posting $132M First-Half Net Profit

Oct 29, 2014 12:00 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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Nintendo shocked investors on Wednesday by announcing a net profit for the July-September quarter.

The Japanese company made $132 million in profit for the six months ending in September, marking an upward swing from the $91 million loss it confirmed for the first three months of the period.

Analysts had averaged had expected 3.7 billion yen loss for July-September, according to Reuters.

Results may ease pressure on Chief Executive Satoru Iwata, who is recovering from surgery in June to remove a tumor in his bile duct, ahead of the important year-end holiday sales season.

Iwata, 54, has resisted calls for a major overhaul to make Nintendo characters like Mario available for games smartphones, instead of its own hardware.

Nintendo has had a hard time keeping up with Microsoft and Sony, who are now dominant in the home video console market.

Nintendo confirmed a forecast for a full-year operating profit of 40 billion yen, compared with an operating loss of 46.4 billion yen in 2013. Analysts have been skeptical on this target however, as well as the company's strategy, with the average estimate before Wednesday being for a 24 billion yen profit.

Iwata said to reporters that Wii U sales had improved since "Mario Kart 8," the most recent game to feature Mario, went on sale in May. The company still thinks it will sell 3.6 million of the consoles in the current business year through March 2015.

 "Through April to September we saw sales improve, especially overseas in the U.S. and European markets," Iwata said of the Wii U, according to Reuters. "This year is different to last year, when we headed into the year-end without momentum or good software prospects. The goal is fully achievable."

Iwata, who feels well enough tor resume regular work deputies, said Nintendo is heading in a "good direction" ahead of the crucial holiday season.

The company also maintained its forecast to sell 12 million of its 3DS this business year through March 2015.

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