Mon, Sep. 28, 3:51 PM
- Cowen & Co. is seeing what they like from content investments at Activision Blizzard (ATVI -2.2%), bumping its price target to $35, from $28.
- Cowen's Doug Creutz maintains his Outperform rating on the stock. Shares closed Friday at $32.06 and are currently trading at $31.35, implying 12% upside from here.
- The firm raised its EPS estimates for fiscal 2015 (to $1.39 from $1.34) and 2016 (to $1.61 from $1.51).
- Activision Blizzard should see significant sales growth for the next few years from its recent lineup, he says; major updates from Hearthstone and Destiny are performing well, with record user levels hitting up Destiny: The Taken King.
- “We expect both games to be key drivers of upside in Q3,” Creutz says, and the firm sees advance interest in the upcoming Black Ops 3 to be strong. He also expects that declines in World of Warcraft and Skylanders could slow or stop.
- Previously: Activision up after 'Destiny' expansion sets download record (Sep. 17 2015)
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, 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.
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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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