Todays Report: The Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) Upgraded to Strong-Buy at The Zacks Investment Research

The Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) Upgraded to Strong-Buy at The Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a report released on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $52.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Activision is a dominant name in the rapidly growing interactive entertainment software industry. The company’s enviable product portfolio that includes the likes of Call of Duty and World of Warcraft is a key catalyst. Its strong pipeline of new releases should keep investors interested in the stock. Moreover, the company will continue to benefit from increasing digital revenues post acquisition of King Digital. Further, King Digital also plans to launch a non-CandyCrush franchise toward the end of the year. This will further diversify Activision’s IP base. The company’s attempts to become a broad-based media company are prudent in our view. Apart from launching a movie studio, the company is also strengthening its presence in the lucrative e-sports market. However, the hit driven and competitive nature of the video game industry begets caution.Estimates are going up ahead of the company's third quarter 2016 earnings release.”

Several other equities analysts have also recently commented on ATVI. Wedbush reiterated an outperform rating and set a $43.00 target price on shares of Activision Blizzard in a research note on Wednesday, July 6th. Vetr lowered shares of Activision Blizzard from a hold rating to a sell rating and set a $40.89 price target on the stock. in a report on Monday, September 5th. Morgan Stanley assumed coverage on shares of Activision Blizzard in a report on Friday, September 23rd. They issued an overweight rating and a $56.00 price target on the stock. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed an outperform rating and issued a $46.00 target price on shares of Activision Blizzard in a report on Thursday, September 8th. Finally, Jefferies Group reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Activision Blizzard in a report on Monday, August 22nd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nineteen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $45.64.

Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) opened at 43.32 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $32.12 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 43.63 and a beta of 1.09. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $44.01 and its 200 day moving average is $40.24. Activision Blizzard has a one year low of $26.49 and a one year high of $45.55.

Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.45 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.42 by $0.03. The company earned $1.57 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.44 billion. Activision Blizzard had a net margin of 13.95% and a return on equity of 14.49%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 112.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.13 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Activision Blizzard will post $1.99 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Riccardo Zacconi sold 19,761 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.65, for a total transaction of $803,284.65. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 97,177 shares in the company, valued at $3,950,245.05. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Brian G. Kelly sold 386,927 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.51, for a total value of $15,674,412.77. Following the sale, the director now owns 292,929 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,866,553.79. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 25.23% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Advisory Services Network LLC increased its stake in shares of Activision Blizzard by 24.0% in the third quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 3,669 shares of the company’s stock valued at $163,000 after buying an additional 711 shares during the period. Synovus Financial Corp purchased a new position in Activision Blizzard during the third quarter valued at $163,000. Bessemer Group Inc. increased its position in Activision Blizzard by 103.0% in the second quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 5,062 shares of the company’s stock valued at $201,000 after buying an additional 2,568 shares during the last quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. purchased a new position in Activision Blizzard during the second quarter valued at $210,000. Finally, Buckingham Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in Activision Blizzard during the second quarter valued at $216,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.96% of the company’s stock.

Activision Blizzard Company Profile

Activision Blizzard, Inc is a developer and publisher of online, personal computer (PC), video game console, handheld, mobile and tablet games. The Company operates through Activision Publishing, Inc (Activision) and its subsidiaries, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc (Blizzard) and its subsidiaries, and Other segments.

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