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Activision Blizzard, Inc (ATVI)

  • Thu, Nov. 5, 3:41 PM
    | Thu, Nov. 5, 3:41 PM | 2 Comments
  • Wed, Nov. 4, 3:53 PM
    • As analyst takes pile up, some bullishness is rolling in for Activision Blizzard (ATVI +2.7%) following news of its $5.9B deal to acquire King Digital (KING -0.5%) -- a price tag that has stirred debate over whether Activision overpaid.
    • Cowen's Doug Creutz had called the deal a "steal" yesterday. Wedbush raised its price target on Activision to $47, from $37, reiterating an Outperform rating, and sees a "mobile powerhouse" coming from a combo that "makes eminent sense."
    • Activision gains a lot by buying mobile development rather than spending a decade to build it out, Wedbush says. The firm believes the addressable market for mobile games is close to $24B now, and could grow 15-20% a year over the next five.
    • With Activision currently trading at $36.78, Wedbush's target implies 27.8% upside.
    • Pacific Crest calls this "one of the most 'Activision' of Activision deals it has ever done," pointing to 30% accretion to 2016 earnings and unlocking overseas cash. Activision will use $3.6B in offshore cash along with a term loan to seal the deal.
    • The firm says modest growth at King may be inconsequential in the long run. It boosted its price target on Activision to $41 from $31 (implied 11.5% upside from current price) and maintains an Overweight rating.
    • Previously: ATVI down -2.8% after 'steal' in King deal; GLUU, ZNGA higher (Nov. 03 2015)
    • Previously: Activision earnings: Solid beat on top and bottom lines, record digital revenue (Nov. 02 2015)
    • Previously: Activision Blizzard to acquire King Digital for $5.9B (Nov. 02 2015)
    | Wed, Nov. 4, 3:53 PM | Comment!
  • Tue, Nov. 3, 9:50 AM
    • Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) is off 2.8% in the wake of last night's surprise announcement that it was buying Candy Crush Saga regents King Digital (KING +14.1%) for $5.9B.
    • Cowen's Doug Creutz reiterated his Outperform rating on Activision, calling the deal "an absolute steal for Activision" that "immediately vaults them to being one of the top mobile gaming companies in the world." He has a $35 price target on the stock; just over 4% upside from today's trading of $33.60.
    • Meanwhile, Jim Cramer says "If [Activision chief Bobby Kotick] says this is a good deal, it's a good deal."
    • With the deal, King may have "solved" its dilemma of how to keep converting players into payers, as the company never quite got beyond the dependence on a single franchise (however lucrative).
    • King's mobile and social game rivals are trading up on the acquisition news as well; Glu Mobile (NASDAQ:GLUU) is up 5.2% in early going, while Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) is up 2.5%. Majesco Entertainment (NASDAQ:COOL) is up 6.3%.
    | Tue, Nov. 3, 9:50 AM | 18 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 2, 10:47 PM
    • Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) has announced a deal to acquire King Digital Entertainment (NYSE:KING), makers of Candy Crush Saga and other mobile games, for $5.9B in equity value.
    • The company posted its earnings as well, logging non-GAAP revenues of $1.04B and EPS of $0.21.
    • The deal for King represents $5B in enterprise value. At $18 in cash per share, it's a 20% premium over King's Oct. 30 closing price and a 15.8% premium over today's close (King shares gained 4% to $15.54 today).
    • Both boards have unanimously approved the deal -- a scheme of arrangement under Irish law -- and so it heads to approval by King shareholders and the Irish High Court, with closing expected by Spring 2016.
    • Activision's cash portion will be funded by $3.6B of offshore cash on its balance sheet and a term loan under an existing $2.3B credit agreement.
    • Activision and King will host a call at 8 a.m. ET tomorrow to discuss the acquisition and answer questions.
    • Deal summary presentation
    | Mon, Nov. 2, 10:47 PM | 16 Comments
  • Aug. 29, 2014, 11:29 AM
    • Take-Two (TTWO +4.1%) president Karl Slatoff says his company is weighing the pros and cons of bringing Grand Theft Auto to the big screen. He adds Take-Two doesn't think a weak box office showing would hurt the GTA game franchise.
    • Dan Houser, the co-founder of GTA developer Rockstar Games, also appears open to doing a GTA movie. However, he insists Rockstar would want to make the film on its own.
    • Benchmark's Mike Hickey thinks a GTA film makes sense, and that it could compel Activision (ATVI +0.3%), rumored to be hatching plans for its own movie studio, to acquire Take-Two.
    • Hickey calls an Activision/Take-Two deal a "no-brainer," given Take-Two's developer talent, IP, and low valuation. He notes Activision can lower its business volatility by staggering Rockstar, Bungie, and Blizzard releases, and that Take-Two could help offset World of Warcraft's ongoing decline and Skylanders competition from Disney.
    | Aug. 29, 2014, 11:29 AM | 4 Comments
  • Oct. 11, 2013, 4:33 PM
    • A day after Delaware's Supreme Court cleared the way for the deals to proceed, Activision (ATVI +0.2%) says it has closed its $5.83B, $13.60/share leveraged recap deal with Vivendi (VIVHY.PK), and that Vivendi's sale of $2.34B in shares (also at $13.60/share) to an investment group led by Activision's CEO and co-chairman has also been finished. (PR)
    • Not surprisingly, Activision predicts the leveraged recap, which was financed via $4.75B in debt (average interest rate below 5%) and $1.2B in existing cash, will be immediately accretive to EPS.
    • The two deals leave the investment group, which also features private investment firms and Chinese online gaming giant Tencent (TCEHY.PK), with a 24.7% stake in Activision. Vivendi retains a 12% stake.
    | Oct. 11, 2013, 4:33 PM | Comment!
  • Oct. 10, 2013, 2:35 PM
    • Delaware's Supreme Court has overturned a September lower court ruling requiring Activision (ATVI +3.8%) to put its $5.8B leveraged recap deal with Vivendi and the $2.3B purchase of Vivendi-owned Activision shares by the company's CEO and co-chairman to a shareholder vote.
    • The deal, which (judging the market's reaction to the initial announcement) would likely have been overwhelmingly approved by shareholders, is now free to move forward without a vote.
    | Oct. 10, 2013, 2:35 PM | Comment!
  • Sep. 18, 2013, 5:53 PM
    • A Delaware court has halted the closing of Activision's (ATVI) $5.83B leveraged recap deal with Vivendi (VIVHY.PK), as well as the concurrent purchase of $2.34B in Activision shares from Vivendi by Activision's CEO and co-chairman. The injunction can be lifted either by a successful appeal, or a shareholder vote involving Activision investors not named Vivendi.
    • Given Activision shares soared when the deals were announced, one would think shareholders would sign off on them.
    • Activision recently raised $2.5B to help pay for the leveraged recap deal.
    | Sep. 18, 2013, 5:53 PM | Comment!
  • Jul. 26, 2013, 2:24 AM
    Vivendi (VIVHY.PK) has agreed to sell 85% of its stake in Activision Blizzard (ATVI) to the computer-games company and its management for $8.2B. Activision will buy back 429M shares from Vivendi for $5.83B, using $1.2B of cash and debt of $4.6B, while a consortium led by Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and co-Chairman Brian Kelly will acquire 172M shares for $2.34B. The value of the deal is $13.60 a share, or a 10% discount to Activision's close on Thursday of $15.18. Vivendi, which also plans to sell its holding in Maroc Telecom, will retain a stake of 12% in Activision after the deal is closed. (PR)
    | Jul. 26, 2013, 2:24 AM | 6 Comments
  • Jul. 22, 2013, 4:25 AM
    Vivendi (VIVEF.PK) is reportedly expected to discuss plans at a board meeting today for Activision Blizzard (ATVI) to pay a special dividend of over $3B. With a 60% holding in the video-games company, Vivendi would receive $2B, although Activision would have to raise debt to pay for the dividend. Vivendi's directors will also talk about a sale of its controlling stake in in North African phone operator Maroc Telecom (MAOTF.PK) for about $5.5B plus debt to Emirates Telecom. The money will allow Vivendi to reduce its €13.19B debt and could presage a spin-off of its SFR French phone operator subsidiary.
    | Jul. 22, 2013, 4:25 AM | Comment!
  • May 14, 2013, 5:33 PM
    Vivendi (VIVHY.PK) is still weighing potential deals to sell part of its ~60% stake in Activision (ATVI +3.1%), says CFO Philippe Capron. "The board continues to review a variety of different options, looking at ways to optimize the balance sheet." Vivendi hired bankers last year to find a buyer for its entire stake, but shelved the plan after failing to receive a decent offer. Wedbush speculated Vivendi might go for a leveraged recap deal featuring a giant debt offering and even bigger special dividend.
    | May 14, 2013, 5:33 PM | Comment!
  • Apr. 8, 2013, 4:47 PM
    Activision's (ATVI) Blizzard unit acquires the assets of IGN Pro League, a business dedicated to promoting covering competitive gaming (eSports), from IGN (JCOM). Blizzard says part of the IGN Pro League team will form a new Blizzard group focused on producing "high-quality web and mobile content in support of Blizzard games." The purchase could help Blizzard further promote its Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo franchises via competitive events.
    | Apr. 8, 2013, 4:47 PM | Comment!
  • Aug. 16, 2012, 2:36 PM
    Vivendi (VIVHY.PK) may try to sell its 60% stake in Activision (ATVI +2.2%) back to the company after having failed to find a buyer, Bloomberg reports. But there are doubts such a move is feasible, particularly since Activision would probably have to borrow at least $5B to make it happen. Vivendi is also said to have hired bankers to evaluate options for Brazilian carrier GVT, as the conglomerate tries to reduce its telecom exposure. (earlier)
    | Aug. 16, 2012, 2:36 PM | Comment!
  • Aug. 16, 2012, 10:07 AM
    Electronic Arts (EA +7.1%) has given up half the premarket gains it saw on a report it's in early talks with P-E firms. Take-Two Interactive (TTWO +3.1%), which once spurned a bid from EA, is getting a lift, but EA archrival Activision (ATVI +0.4%) isn't so fortunate. It was only two weeks ago reports emerged that Vivendi is shelving plans to sell its 60% stake in Activision due to a lack of interest. Will EA's smaller market cap and greater mobile/social exposure be enough to produce a different outcome?
    | Aug. 16, 2012, 10:07 AM | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 3, 2012, 9:48 AM
    Speculation that Vivendi (VIVHY.PK) is reportedly shelving plans to find a buyer for its $8B, 61% stake in Activision (ATVI -5.7%) is followed by the latter selling off on account of its Q2 report, with strong sales of Skylanders merchandise outweighed by tepid guidance and a major drop in World of Warcraft subs. (ATVI transcript)
    | Aug. 3, 2012, 9:48 AM | Comment!
  • Aug. 3, 2012, 4:48 AM
    Vivendi looks set to abandon plans for a quick sale of its 60% stake in Activision Blizzard (ATVI) after receiving no worthwhile offers for the computer gaming company, whose $13B value is too high for potential suitors, the FT reports. The speculation follows Activision's Q2 earnings beat yesterday. Vivendi is carrying out a broad review of its businesses and could sell Brazilian broadband operator GVT.
    | Aug. 3, 2012, 4:48 AM | Comment!
Company Description
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.