Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $50.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target points to a potential upside of 11.93% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. is a worldwide pure-play online and console game publisher with leading market positions across all categories of the rapidly growing interactive entertainment software industry. Activision Blizzard’s portfolio includes best-selling video games such as Guitar Hero, Call of Duty, and Tony Hawk, as well as Spider-Man, X-Men, Shrek, James Bond and TRANSFORMERS, leading franchises such as Crash Bandicoot and Spyro and Blizzard Entertainment’s StarCraft, Diablo, and Warcraft franchises including the global number one subscription-based massively multi-player online role-playing game, World of Warcraft. Activision Blizzard maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Romania, Australia, Chile, India, Japan, China, the region of Taiwan and South Korea. “

Several other research firms have also issued reports on ATVI. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $55.00 price objective on shares of Activision Blizzard in a research note on Wednesday. Vetr lowered Activision Blizzard from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $42.09 price objective for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, September 13th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $46.00 price objective on shares of Activision Blizzard in a research note on Thursday, September 8th. Mizuho raised their price objective on Activision Blizzard from $46.00 to $48.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 6th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $44.00 price objective on shares of Activision Blizzard in a research note on Tuesday, September 6th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $43.61.

Analyst Recommendations for Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI)

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Shares of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) traded up 1.22% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $44.67. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 9,032,293 shares. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $41.73 and its 200 day moving average is $38.10. Activision Blizzard has a one year low of $26.49 and a one year high of $44.89. The firm has a market cap of $33.12 billion, a P/E ratio of 44.98 and a beta of 1.02.

Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.42 by $0.03. The business earned $1.57 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.44 billion. Activision Blizzard had a return on equity of 14.49% and a net margin of 13.95%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 112.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.13 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Activision Blizzard will post $1.97 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Activision Blizzard news, Director Brian G. Kelly sold 386,927 shares of Activision Blizzard stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.51, for a total transaction of $15,674,412.77. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 292,929 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,866,553.79. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, COO Thomas Tippl sold 75,000 shares of Activision Blizzard stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.76, for a total value of $3,282,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 25.23% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. FMR LLC boosted its stake in shares of Activision Blizzard by 88.7% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 105,342,767 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,174,735,000 after buying an additional 49,511,148 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Activision Blizzard by 3.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 33,277,915 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,318,803,000 after buying an additional 1,166,054 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Activision Blizzard by 45.0% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 30,276,592 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,199,862,000 after buying an additional 9,390,129 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of Activision Blizzard by 2.6% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 19,349,183 shares of the company’s stock worth $766,806,000 after buying an additional 492,609 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its stake in shares of Activision Blizzard by 4.8% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 14,279,811 shares of the company’s stock worth $565,909,000 after buying an additional 650,789 shares in the last quarter. 83.67% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Activision Blizzard

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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