Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.
According to Zacks, “Activision shares have outperformed the industry it belongs to over the last 12-months. 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 strength in franchises are the key drivers. The company’s much awaited Call of Duty: WWII earned over $500 million in the first three days of its release. 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. Estimates have been going up ahead of the company’s Q4 earnings release. The company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. However, hit driven and competitive nature of the video game industry begets caution.”
A number of other equities analysts have also issued reports on ATVI. KeyCorp set a $80.00 target price on Activision Blizzard and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday. Vetr raised Activision Blizzard from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $64.25 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, September 27th. BidaskClub lowered Activision Blizzard from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 27th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a market perform rating and issued a $62.00 target price (up from $60.00) on shares of Activision Blizzard in a research report on Wednesday, September 20th. Finally, Hilliard Lyons raised Activision Blizzard from an underperform rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-four have issued a buy rating to the company. Activision Blizzard presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $69.91.
In other news, CEO Riccardo Zacconi sold 19,761 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.64, for a total value of $1,257,590.04. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 41,435 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,636,923.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 2.12% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Activision Blizzard by 3.2% in the fourth quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 105,192 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,657,000 after buying an additional 3,300 shares during the period. Waverton Investment Management Ltd lifted its holdings in shares of Activision Blizzard by 57.3% in the fourth quarter. Waverton Investment Management Ltd now owns 943,017 shares of the company’s stock valued at $59,712,000 after buying an additional 343,697 shares during the period. DnB Asset Management AS lifted its holdings in shares of Activision Blizzard by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. DnB Asset Management AS now owns 79,753 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,050,000 after buying an additional 1,800 shares during the period. New England Research & Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Activision Blizzard by 17.0% in the fourth quarter. New England Research & Management Inc. now owns 5,850 shares of the company’s stock valued at $370,000 after buying an additional 850 shares during the period. Finally, Abner Herrman & Brock LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Activision Blizzard by 12.1% in the fourth quarter. Abner Herrman & Brock LLC now owns 97,168 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,153,000 after buying an additional 10,526 shares during the period. 86.48% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
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About Activision Blizzard
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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