Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Activision Blizzard (ATVI) to Hold

Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

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. Shares have outperformed the industry in the past year. However, hit driven and competitive nature of the video game industry begets caution.”

A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on ATVI. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $74.00 target price on shares of Activision Blizzard in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. Vetr downgraded shares of Activision Blizzard from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $59.97 target price on the stock. in a research note on Monday, October 23rd. Wedbush set a $75.00 target price on shares of Activision Blizzard and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. SunTrust Banks set a $72.00 target price on shares of Activision Blizzard and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, October 29th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $62.00 target price on shares of Activision Blizzard in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-five have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $71.95.

Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ ATVI) traded up $1.20 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $69.23. 3,540,000 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 6,790,000. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46, a current ratio of 1.78 and a quick ratio of 1.77. Activision Blizzard has a one year low of $44.47 and a one year high of $74.94. The company has a market capitalization of $52,340.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 197.80, a P/E/G ratio of 1.73 and a beta of 1.11.

Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 8th. The company reported $0.94 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.92 by $0.02. Activision Blizzard had a net margin of 3.89% and a return on equity of 17.48%. The company had revenue of $2.64 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.55 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.65 earnings per share. Activision Blizzard’s revenue was up 7.7% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts anticipate that Activision Blizzard will post 2.71 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Activision Blizzard news, CEO of King Digital Entertainment Riccardo Zacconi sold 19,761 shares of Activision Blizzard stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.64, for a total transaction of $1,257,590.04. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 41,435 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,636,923.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Company insiders own 2.12% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of ATVI. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of Activision Blizzard by 321.5% in the third quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 1,547 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 1,180 shares during the period. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Activision Blizzard in the fourth quarter worth $125,000. Goodman Financial Corp purchased a new position in shares of Activision Blizzard in the fourth quarter worth $127,000. Grove Bank & Trust increased its stake in shares of Activision Blizzard by 261.7% in the third quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 2,170 shares of the company’s stock worth $140,000 after buying an additional 1,570 shares during the period. Finally, Phocas Financial Corp. purchased a new position in shares of Activision Blizzard in the second quarter worth $173,000. 85.61% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other 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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