Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Wednesday morning. The firm currently has $84.00 target price on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Activision reported encouraging fourth-quarter 2017 results. The company's popularity is primarily driven by its well-known franchises, which will continue to fuel top-line growth. Increasing digital revenues, King Digital buyout and portfolio strength are the key drivers. The company’s attempts to become a broad-based media company are prudent in our view. Apart from launching a movie studio and consumer products division, the company is also strengthening its presence in the lucrative e-sports market. We note that the launch of Overwatch League is driving viewership, corporate sponsorships and media coverage for the company. Shares have outperformed the industry in the past year. However, hit driven and competitive nature of the video game industry begets caution.”
Several other brokerages have also commented on ATVI. Vetr upgraded Activision Blizzard from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $83.48 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, March 6th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a buy rating and set a $77.00 price objective on shares of Activision Blizzard in a research report on Thursday, February 1st. BidaskClub upgraded Activision Blizzard from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Thursday, March 1st. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a buy rating and set a $81.00 price objective on shares of Activision Blizzard in a research report on Friday, January 26th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Activision Blizzard from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, March 1st. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-four have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Activision Blizzard has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $74.52.
Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 8th. The company reported $0.94 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $2.64 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.55 billion. Activision Blizzard had a return on equity of 17.48% and a net margin of 3.89%. The company’s revenue was up 7.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.65 EPS. sell-side analysts anticipate that Activision Blizzard will post 2.57 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other Activision Blizzard news, Director Brian G. Kelly sold 1,700,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.65, for a total value of $120,105,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 69,474 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,908,338.10. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Riccardo Zacconi sold 19,761 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.99, for a total value of $1,402,833.39. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 34,398 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,441,914.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 2,608,282 shares of company stock valued at $184,660,583. Company insiders own 2.12% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Activision Blizzard in the 4th quarter worth approximately $125,000. Goodman Financial Corp purchased a new position in shares of Activision Blizzard in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $127,000. Grove Bank & Trust lifted its stake in shares of Activision Blizzard by 261.7% in the 3rd quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 2,170 shares of the company’s stock valued at $140,000 after purchasing an additional 1,570 shares during the period. James Hambro & Partners purchased a new position in shares of Activision Blizzard in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $184,000. Finally, Exane Derivatives lifted its stake in shares of Activision Blizzard by 15,900.0% in the 4th quarter. Exane Derivatives now owns 3,040 shares of the company’s stock valued at $192,000 after purchasing an additional 3,021 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.09% of the company’s stock.
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Activision Blizzard Company Profile
Activision Blizzard, Inc is a developer and publisher of interactive entertainment content and services. The Company develops and distributes content and services across various gaming platforms, including video game consoles, personal computers (PC) and mobile devices. Its segments include Activision Publishing, Inc (Activision), Blizzard Entertainment, Inc (Blizzard), King Digital Entertainment (King) and Other.
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