Thu, Sep. 24, 2:48 PM
- With the rumbling on of e-sports -- videogames played as professional competition -- Activision (ATVI -0.6%) is expanding its presence in Call of Duty contests, moving from an annual tournament to year-round competition with a tripled prize pool.
- What was a $1M tournament will become $3M for international leagues with pro and amateur divisions, with a year-end championship. The "Call of Duty World League" will launch in early 2016 in North America, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand.
- Meanwhile, TBS (TWX -2.4%) is bringing e-sports to primetime TV, creating a league along with talent agency WME/IMG that will feature live Friday night events for a 20-week season. A 2016 launch will happen in the game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
- E-sports' audience is estimated at 32M people in the U.S., expected to hit 50M in 2017, and about 200M worldwide live and online viewership.
Fri, Sep. 18, 7:52 AM
- The Nevada Gaming Commission approved a set of rules to allow a new category of games which mix skill and chance.
- The aim of industry players is to introduce hybrid slot machines which appeal to millennials by incorporating skills such as knowledge of trivia, strategic thinking, or dexterity. Traditional slot machines haven't been popular with millennials in general.
- Related stocks: CZR, WYNN, SGMS, ISLE, PNK, PENN, MCRI, CNTY, IGT, MGM, BYD, OTCQB:TPCA, ATVI, TTWO, EA.
- Related ETFs: BJK
Thu, Sep. 17, 9:38 PM
- Destiny: The Taken King -- the new game from Activision Blizzard (ATVI +1.5%) -- set a record for day-one downloads on Sony's PlayStation, the company said, as well as beating its franchise records for total players and peak online concurrency.
- The news means more people played Destiny on launch day for The Taken King than did on the original Destiny launch day last September.
- The company is offering a "Legendary Edition" for new players for $59.99, or a digital copy of The Taken King for $39.99 for those with the previous game and expansions.
- Shares established a new 52-week high of $31.47 today.
- Previously: Activision Blizzard touches all-time high off S&P 500 addition (Aug. 28 2015)
Fri, Sep. 11, 5:27 PM
- Videogame sales slipped in August, despite the "annual Madden," with new physical games and hardware down 2% to $548M, according to NPD Group.
- That's due to a bigger decline in software sales, though hardware slipped as well. Game sales fell 10% to $207.9M on tough comps against last year's Diablo III console launch and Sony's The Last of Us.
- Spending on hardware dropped a comparatively lighter 2% to $190.5M. Accessory sales rose, however, up 12% to $150M. Current-gen consoles rose to 68% of software sales from the prior month's 61%, according to Piper Jaffray.
- Madden NFL 16 (EA +0.3%) was the unsurprising leader in software for August after its late-month release, ahead of a pair of Microsoft (MSFT +0.4%) titles, Minecraft and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.
- “New physical software sales for [Xbox One and PS4] consoles, up 34%, did not offset the 51% decline in [last] generation console sales as well as the 24% drop in portable software sales,” said NPD analyst Liam Callahan.
- Piper's Michael Olson reiterated Overweight ratings on Activision Blizzard (ATVI +0.3%), EA and Take-Two (TTWO +0.1%), as well as on GameStop (GME +1%). "We expect that 2015 and 2016 will be the equivalent to 2007 and 2008 during the prior console cycle," he writes; "both were years that experienced significant industry software growth, following several years of decline or limited growth in the space."
- Meanwhile, Sony (SNE +0.9%) confirmed its PlayStation 4 outsold competing hardware from Microsoft and Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY -1.5%) yet again in August.
Fri, Aug. 28, 5:12 PM
- Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) made a strong move today, +4.6% and touching an all-time high, after news of its addition to the S&P 500 effective after the close today.
- The company is joining the index's home entertainment software sub-index.
- Shares hit an intraday all-time high of $30.00 before settling back to $29.22. After hours, the shares are up 0.2% to $29.28; their highest closing price was $29.30, on Aug. 17.
- “Joining the S&P 500 is a reflection of our talented teams’ passion, hard work and commitment to excellence," said CEO Bobby Kotick.
- Shares are up 13.7% this month, including its solid Q2 earnings beat, and up 45% YTD.
Fri, Aug. 28, 9:17 AM
Thu, Aug. 27, 5:39 PM
- Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) will replace Pall Corp. (NYSE:PLL), and United Continental (NYSE:UAL) will replace Hospira (NYSE:HSP) in the S&P 500 after the close of trading on Aug. 28 and Sept. 2, respectively.
- S&P 500 member Danaher is acquiring Pall, and Hospira is being acquired by Pfizer.
- ATVI +6.3%, UAL +6.8% AH.
Thu, Aug. 27, 5:39 PM
Mon, Aug. 10, 11:45 AM
- Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) is up 0.5%, and Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) up 1%, as Piper Jaffray raises price targets on both in a bullish report on game growth driven by next-generation consoles.
- EA's target was raised to $85; shares closed Friday at $73.36 and are currently trading at $74.04, implying near 15% upside. The firm raised its target on Activision to $33, from $30; shares closed Friday at $28.78 and are currently trading at $28.93, implying 14% upside.
- Piper's Michael Olson thinks 2015-2016 could be the match for 2007-2008 in the last console cycle: "Both were years that experienced significant industry software growth, following several years of decline or limited growth in the space. This is positive for video game publishers."
- Activision Blizzard's guidance looked "conservative," he says, as the company heads into a second half with new entries for its brands Skylanders, Call of Duty and Destiny as well as its Guitar Hero reboot.
Wed, Aug. 5, 11:33 AM
- Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) is up 12.9% -- and hitting its all-time high, at $29.01 -- amid a blizzard of price target hikes from analysts after it posted record Q2 revenues and raised its 2015 guidance.
- Mizuho, Jefferies Group and MKM Partners all raised their price targets, to $31, $32 and $33 respectively. That's an upside of 6.9% to 13.8% from today's already-boosted price, depending on whom you're asking.
- The company is taking its key titles to Gamescom 2015 in Cologne, Germany, which opens to press today and to consumers tomorrow. Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Destiny: The Taken King and Guitar Hero Live will be playable at the company's booth.
- Previously: Activision Blizzard up 7.1% after beat, raised outlook (Aug. 04 2015)
- Related: Activision Blizzard (ATVI) Robert A. Kotick on Q2 2015 Results - Earnings Call Transcript (Aug. 04 2015)
Wed, Aug. 5, 9:19 AM
- Gainers: FNJN +60%. BIOC +13%. FSLR +11%. KATE +9%. Z +9%. HRB +8%. OAS +8%. TSEM +8%. PCLN +7%. SLTD +7%. MSI +6%. ATVI +6%. SUPN +6%. LC +6%. CTSH +6%. BBL +6%. SDRL +5%.
- Losers: SALE -33%. OHGI -28%. LL -24%. BOOT -23%. ETSY -20%. TRMB -13%. GLUU -10%. RSO -10%. DIS -9%. NYMT -7%. MEMP -7%. GNW -7%. PWR -7%. CERN -6%. PZZA -6%.
Tue, Aug. 4, 4:26 PM
- Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) is up 7.1% after hours following a solid beat, with record Q2 revenues, and raised its outlook for the rest of 2015.
- Digital revenues hit a record in GAAP and non-GAAP terms. Monthly active users were up 35% Y/Y, and time spent playing the games was up 25%.
- Revenue breakout (GAAP): Product sales, $528M (down 10%); Subscription, licensing and other, $516M (up 34.7%).
- The company's guiding to Q3 revenues (non-GAAP) of $930M, ahead of analyst expectations for $866M and EPS of $0.14, in line. It's also boosting its calendar-year 2015 outlook: on revenues, to $4.6B from $4.425B, and EPS of $1.30, up from $1.20.
- It said Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm and Destiny now have more than 70M registered players combined and more than $1.25B in non-GAAP revenues to date.
- Conference call to come at 4:30 p.m. ET.
- Press release
Tue, Aug. 4, 4:17 PM
Mon, Aug. 3, 5:35 PM
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Fri, Jul. 17, 5:41 PM
- Videogame sales grew in June, with new physical games and hardware up 18% in the U.S. Y/Y, to $869.4M, according to NPD. That's a rebound from May's 13% decline.
- The industry showed growth in all three major areas: Hardware sales were $313.1M (up 8%); accessories were $210.7M (up 34%); and game software sales were very strong at $345.5M (up 21%, though against a weaker 2014 comp) by calling on the Batman. The settling-in of next-gen consoles continues, as it was the fourth month of Y/Y software increases.
- Batman: Arkham Knight (TWX -1.4%) led the software charts and became the year's second-best seller out of the gate, behind another Warner Bros. release, Mortal Kombat X.
- June was Warner's month: Its other titles Lego Jurassic World, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Mortal Kombat X joined Batman in the top 10 at Nos. 3, 4 and 8 respectively. Warner's dollar sales are up 217% vs. the first half of 2014, making it the top corporate publisher this year, says NPD's Liam Callahan.
- In longer-term holdouts, Minecraft (NASDAQ:MSFT) came in at No. 6, Grand Theft Auto V (TTWO +4%) was No. 7, Take-Two's NBA 2K15 was No. 9 and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (NASDAQ:ATVI) No. 10.
- Next-gen consoles like PS4 and Xbox One led the way in hardware growth, up 15%. The PS4 (SNE +0.5%) led console sales again, the company said, as it has for every month this year except for April.
Thu, Jul. 16, 3:21 PM
- Digital game sales crested $1B in revenues in June (up 18% Y/Y), SuperData Research reports -- and most of that is headed to big-name projects.
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (ATVI +0.4%) topped the firm's digital console earnings chart for June, followed by Grand Theft Auto V (TTWO +1.8%).
- The overall market was robust, said SuperData chief Joost van Dreunen: Mobile revenues that usually slip in summer increased 4% M/M in June (and 20% Y/Y) to $367M, while console and PC gaming is up 30% Y/Y to $314M.
- Following up Call of Duty and GTA V on the console chart was Bethesda Softworks' MMORPG Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited and Batman: Arkham Knight (TWX +0.7%).
Activision Blizzard Inc is an online, personal computer, video game console, tablet, handheld, and mobile game publisher. It has three operating segments: - Activision Publishing, Inc., Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. and Activision Blizzard Distribution.
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