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
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
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%).
Mon, Jun. 29, 10:59 AM
- Worlds (OTCQB:WDDD) asserts the federal court that on Friday issued a Markman ruling related to the company's infringement suit against Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI) "ruled that the majority of our patent claims construction language means precisely what the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) interpreted the claims to mean in the patents they granted to us," thereby leaving the company "in a strong position for a jury trial."
- Worlds hopes to receive a trial date at a July 30 scheduling hearing. Shares now +67% from Thursday's close, after having soared on Friday in response to the ruling.
- The full ruling (.pdf)
Wed, Jun. 3, 3:50 PM
- Activision Blizzard (ATVI +1.6%) is extending its popular $3B Skylanders game/toy franchise -- with 20 vehicles.
- Skylanders Superchargers adds land, sky and sea vehicles to let players race through various terrain and environments along with 20 new characters. The game is out Sept. 20.
- Activision's getting increasing competition in this toys-to-life genre it pioneered, not only with Disney's Infinity (NYSE:DIS) and Nintendo's Amiibo (OTCPK:NTDOY), but also Lego, planning a game where players' real-life brick creations can be played inside the videogame.
- While Disney and Nintendo have a stable of characters to draw on, Activision may need new "hooks" (like vehicles) with each release since its characters are original creations.
- Activision reported that (including toys) Skylanders was the No. 1 console franchise and title globally in Q1 and outsold the No. 1 action figure line globally.
- Toys-to-life needs something new, though; trailing-12-months sales in the category grew just 2% in Q1 vs. 45% a year earlier.
Thu, May 7, 3:14 PM
- After trading lower in after-hours action and today's premarket following yesterday's Q1 earnings report, Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) has risen 5.1% in today's trade as analysts look to game momentum and raise price targets.
- Q1 got a boost from the company's franchise successes in Call of Duty and Hearthstone, and now eyes turn to the June 2 release of Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard's response to Riot Games' League of Legends and an entry into a lucrative "multiplayer online battle arena" genre.
- The company provided some light Q2 guidance, but that could turn around depending on the new game, which is free to play but features in-game payments to unlock items, and which has 11M signups for a closed beta test.
- Baird, Cowen, Piper Jaffray, Barclays and Sterne Agee CRT all raised price targets to $27. Shares are trading today at $24.38.
- On the company's earnings call, it hinted at aggressive plans for content around its Destiny release, including "content being dropped throughout the summer" and "then in the fall we will have a major release, which will be the biggest addition to the universe yet, across all modes of play." The company claims 20M registered players for Destiny.
- Piper's Michael Olson points to recent and upcoming releases, including a new Guitar Hero and the Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 entry in November: "Management has historically under-promised and over-delivered."
Fri, Mar. 13, 5:15 PM
- NPD estimates U.S. physical retail game sales rose 7% Y/Y in February to $338.9M, up from January's 5% growth and better than expected. Hardware sales rose 10% to $378.2M, as next-gen console demand remains healthy. Superdata Research estimates digital game revenue rose just 2% to $995M, thanks to weak mobile and social game sales.
- Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) had a good month: The recently-refreshed 3DS XL handheld was February's top-selling console - Ninetendo says 394K 3DS units were sold - and The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D (launched on Feb. 13) topped NPD's game rankings.
- Take-Two (NASDAQ:TTWO) also did well: Evolve (launched on Feb. 10) was #2 on NPD's list, GTA V came in at #5 (down from January's #3) ahead of its March 24 PC launch, and NBA 2K15 was at #6 (down from #5). Take-Two recently said it was "very pleased" with Evolve's launch.
- Activision's (NASDAQ:ATVI) Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare fell two spots to #4, while Destiny (#9 last month) fell out of the top-10. Electronic Arts' (NASDAQ:EA) Madden NFL 15 and FIFA 15 also dropped out.
- Piper observes Take-Two and Activision's NPD sales were respectively up 72% and 16% Y/Y in February, and that EA's were down 32% over the first two months of 2015. It maintains Overweight ratings on all 3 firms.
- Take-Two rose 3.9% in regular trading thanks to the numbers. GameStop (NYSE:GME) also got a lift, rising 3.5%. Activision rose 0.9% and EA rose 0.4%.
Wed, Feb. 11, 11:08 AM
- Worlds (OTCQB:WDDD) has added Activision's (NASDAQ:ATVI) recently-launched World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to its existing infringement suit (handled by a Massachusetts federal court) against the game developer.
- A ruling on an Oct. 2014 Markman hearing for the suit, which revolves around patents relating to 3D virtual worlds within MMORPGs, is expected soon. Worlds soared shortly after the Markman hearing was held.
Fri, Feb. 6, 12:27 PM
- Off sharply yesterday after posting mixed Q4 results and offering soft Q1/2015 guidance, Activision (ATVI +1.4%) has erased its losses and then some today.
- Sell-side defenses of the game giant are helping its cause. Wedbush's Michael Pachter: "The company has historically been exceedingly conservative with its guidance, and over the last ten years, has consistently beaten the expectations it sets early in the year ... this year is no different."
- Pachter notes the guidance assumes no contribution from StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void or a still-unnamed title from Activision Publishing, only small contributions from Call of Duty Online and Heroes of the Storm, and flat Call of Duty and Skylanders revenue. He thinks there could be as much as $750M in upside to full-year guidance.
- Brean's Todd Mitchell observes forex and a higher tax rate contributed to the guidance. "While Activision is known for its conservative guidance, it seems exaggerated for 2015 in light of the potential for strong sell through of its major franchises, the positive feedback loop of scale for [downloadable content] including an alluded "mega" digital content offering for Destiny, and strong prospects for Blizzard's free-to-play title."
- In addition, Mitchell expects "the PS4/Xbox One console base to continue to outpace the prior-gen cycle throughout 2015, accelerating consumer preferences towards digital transactions and further consolidating the industry around blockbuster AAA franchises, a segment which Activision now dominates."
- On the CC (transcript), Activision Publishing chief Eric Hirshberg disclosed Destiny "now has over 16 million registered users with a massive audience of active players still averaging over 3 hours of game play per day." Blizzard chief Michael Morhaime mentioned Hearthstone now has over 25M registered users.
Fri, Feb. 6, 9:12 AM
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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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