Aug. 5, 2014, 5:55 PM
- Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI) expects Q3 revenue of $975M and EPS of $0.11 vs. a consensus of $893.3M and $0.13. Full-year guidance (a little harder to project) is for revenue of $4.7B and EPS of $1.29, slightly below a consensus of $4.71B and $1.31.
- Revenue from digital channels grew 26% Y/Y in Q2 to $481M, overshadowing a 41% drop in retail channel revenue to $111MM. Distribution channel revenue grew 78% to $66M.
- Console revenue fell 18% Y/Y to $201M, but PC revenue rose 201% to $131M (boosted by Diablo III). Online rose 4% to $201M. Mobile/other remains a soft spot, declining 34% to $59M; EA had $120M in calendar Q2 mobile revenue.
- The World of Warcraft sub base fell by 800K Q/Q to 6.8M; the decline was "disproportionately concentrated in the East." That could be a negative for Chinese WoW partner NetEase (NASDAQ:NTES).
- GAAP costs/expenses +6% to $660M. Activision notes Call of Duty: Ghosts remains the top-selling game on next-gen console in North America and Europe combined.
- Q2 results, PR
Aug. 5, 2014, 4:14 PM
Aug. 4, 2014, 5:35 PM
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Jul. 18, 2014, 2:07 PM
- After rising 57% Y/Y in May due to new game launches, U.S. retail physical game sales fell 3% in June to $286.8M, per NPD. But with June 2013 having a stronger launch title lineup, that figure was better than expected. Sales were also still up over 4% from a May level of $274M.
- Ubisoft's (OTCPK:UBSFY) Watch Dogs was the top-selling title for the second month in a row. Electronic Arts' (EA +3.1%) UFC (launched on June 3) was #4, and FIFA 14 (receiving a World Cup boost) was #5. Titanfall (#8 in May) fell out of the top-10.
- Activision's (ATVI +1.2%) Call of Duty: Ghosts rose 2 spots to #8. But The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (#6 in May) dropped out of the top-10.
- Take-Two's (TTWO +4.1%) NBA 2K14 (boosted by playoff interest) rose a spot to #6, and GTA V came in at #10. Nintendo's (OTCPK:NTDOY) Mario Kart 8 and Tomodachi Life were respectively #2 and #9.
- With the help of Microsoft's cheaper Xbox One package, hardware sales rose 106% Y/Y to $292.7M. Together with the software numbers, that's providing a lift to GameStop (GME +4.4%).
- EA reports on July 22, while Activision and Take-Two both report on August 5.
Jul. 3, 2014, 4:02 PM
- Rob Pardo, the chief creative officer for Activision's (ATVI +0.9%) Blizzard Entertainment unit, is leaving the company following a 17-year stint.
- Pardo was previously the lead designer for Activision's World of Warcraft cash cow and Warcraft III, as well as multiple expansion packs. He suggests in a blog post he'll eventually turn up elsewhere in the gaming industry.
- Blizzard accounted for 60% of Activision's Q1 revenue. In addition to Warcraft, the division is responsible for the StarCraft and Diablo franchises.
Jun. 17, 2014, 1:59 PM
- Thanks to new game launches, U.S. retail physical game sales (just a subset of total game sales) rose 57% Y/Y in May to $274M, says NPD. That represents a big turnaround from April's 10% drop, and March's 27% decline.
- Ubisoft's (UBSFY) Watch Dogs, which sold 4M units worldwide in its first week, was the top-selling title. After holding the top spot the last two months, Electronic Arts' (EA +2.9%) Titanfall fell to #8.
- Activision's (ATVI +1.7%) The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was #6, up two spots from April, and Call of Duty: Ghosts was #10 (down from #2). Take-Two's (TTWO +3.6%) NBA 2K14 was #7 (down from #3).
- EA and Activision are making fresh 52-week highs. Take-Two isn't far removed from its 52-week high of $22.41.
May 22, 2014, 12:10 PM
- Vivendi (VIVHY) will receive net proceeds of ~$850M by selling 41.5M Activision (ATVI -1.1%) shares (a 5.8% stake) at $20.70. The price is modestly below Activision's Wednesday close of $20.87.
- The sale is part of a broader cash-raising effort by Vivendi. Last month, the conglomerate agreed to sell French mobile carrier SFR for over $23B.
May 21, 2014, 4:58 PM
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May 16, 2014, 2:43 PM
- Though available only on the Xbox One/360 and PCs for now, Electronic Arts' (EA +2.1%) Titanfall was the bestselling game in U.S. physical retail channels for the second month in a row, per NPD's April numbers. Strong Titanfall sales have already fueled EA's big calendar Q1 beat.
- Activision's (ATVI +0.7%) Call of Duty: Ghosts rebounded to #2 on NPD's list after coming in at #4 in March. Another Activision title, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, landed at #8.
- Take-Two's (TTWO +0.9%) NBA 2K14 rose to #3 from #7 as the playoffs arrived. Grand Theft Auto V came in at #9.
- Total physical retail game sales fell 10% Y/Y, as gamers direct more spending towards next-gen consoles (hardware sales rose 76%) and digital channels. But the figure represents an improvement from March's 27% decline.
- One encouraging piece of data for the next-gen console cycle: NPD states PS4/Xbox One game sales are up 40% relative to PS3/Xbox 360 sales over their first 6 months of availability.
- Game developers are ticking higher a couple days after selling off in response to Take-Two's soft calendar Q2 guidance, as is GameStop (GME +0.5%).
May 15, 2014, 4:39 PM
- After cutting its Yahoo (YHOO) stake in half to 8M shares in Q4, Dan Loeb's Third Point LLC fully liquidated its position in Q1. (13F).
- Loeb, whose fund once owned 60M Yahoo shares, resigned from the company's board last July as part of a deal to sell back 40M shares to the company. His decision to exit Yahoo comes ahead of Alibaba's much-anticipated IPO.
- Loeb also liquidated the 10M-share BlackBerry (BBRY) position he established in Q4. BBRY -1.6% AH.
- A 4M-share position in Activision (ATVI) and a 1M-share position in NXP (NXPI) were also unloaded. A 2M-share position was taken in Avago (AVGO), as was a 2.55M-share position in Citrix (CTXS) and a 1.6M-share position in Brazilian carrier TIM Participacoes (TSU).
May 6, 2014, 5:38 PM
- Activision (ATVI) has hiked its 2014 revenue guidance by $75M to $4.675B (consensus is at $4.65B), and its EPS guidance by a penny to $1.27 (consensus is already at $1.29).
- Digital channel revenue (68% of total) rose 23% Y/Y in Q1 to $527M; retail channel revenue fell 47% to $172M; distribution revenue rose 43% to $73M.
- Console revenue fell 40% Y/Y to $150M, but PC revenue rose 98% to $239M (strong Diablo III sales). Online revenue (inc. World of Warcraft and Call of Duty Elite) was flat at $227M, and mobile/other revenue fell 47% to $83M (lower Skylanders toy sales?).
- Asia-Pac sales soared 67% Y/Y to $105M, and helped drive the EPS beat. North America -22% to $330M, Europe +6% to $337M.
- The company lost 200K World of Warcraft subs; the base now stands at 7.6M. Diablo III was the top-selling PC title on a dollar basis in North America and Europe. R&D spend +14% to $143M, sales/marketing spend -3% to $104M.
- Shares have pared their gains: ATVI +1.5% AH. Q1 results, PR.
May 6, 2014, 4:10 PM
May 5, 2014, 5:35 PM
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May 2, 2014, 1:34 PM
- Joel Greenblatt's screen looks to find stocks with high "earnings yield" - a high ratio of profits to enterprise value. Companies are further screened for a strong return on capital. When a stock scores well with both criteria, it's usually a good company being undervalued by investors.
- For picking individual stocks, there are probably better methods, but as a group, Magic Formula names have vastly outperformed the broad market.
- Although defense names have done well over the past couple of years, the Magic Formula continues to identify Northrop Grumman (NOC +0.2%), General Dynamics (GD +1.4%), and Raytheon (RTN +0.6%) as attractive. Firearm names Smith & Wesson (SWHC +0.8%) and Sturm Ruger (RGR +0.3%) also make the cut.
- A number of videogame makers show up as well: Take-Two (TTWO +0.3%), Activision Blizzard (ATVI +0.2%), GameStop (GME +2.8%), and the struggling recent IPO King Digital (KING -0.3%).
- Not too surprisingly, the Magic Formula also continues to like plenty of big-cap tech names: Cisco (CSCO -0.2%), CA, Inc. (CA -0.5%), Microsoft (MSFT -0.5%), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ -0.5%), and Apple (AAPL +0.1%).
- Hardly market laggards, media names like Time Warner (TWX -0.8%), Viacom (VIA +1.4%), Omnicom Group (OMC), and Starz (STRZA +2.3%) also show up on the list, as do struggling multi-level marketers and for-profit education stocks: HLF, NUS, APOL, ESI, CPLA.
- Punished by investors for not being as hot as they once were, Coach (COH +0.2%), Francesca' Holdings (FRAN +0.1%), and Gap (GPS -1.3%) are Magic Formula picks today.
Apr. 18, 2014, 4:34 AM
- Microsoft (MSFT) has sold over 5M Xbox One computer gaming consoles to retail shops since launching the device in November, well below the more than 7M PlayStation 4 machines that Sony (SNE) has sold since its product was launched last year as well.
- Still, Xbox One sales have outpaced those of its predecessor, the XBox 360, by over 60% at the same point in time since launch.
- The introductions of the Xbox and PlayStation 4 helped boost U.S. sales of consoles in March by 78% on year to $395M.
- However, sales of videogames fell 28% to $432M, with revenue to multiplayer Internet games such as "World of Warcraft" dropping 19% to $84.8M.
- Tickers: EA, ATVI
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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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