Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday, May 10th.

According to Zacks, “Activision reported better-than-expected first quarter 2017 results. We believe Activision’s enviable product portfolio that includes the likes of Call of Duty and World of Warcraft along with increasing digital revenues will continue to drive growth. Moreover, the company will continue to benefit from acquisition of King Digital. 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. Over the past one year, share prices have outperformed the Zacks categorized Toys/Games/Hobby Prod industry. However, hit driven and competitive nature of the video game industry begets caution.  “

Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Mizuho lifted their price objective on Activision Blizzard to $50.00 in a research report on Friday, February 10th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a buy rating and issued a $55.00 price target on shares of Activision Blizzard in a research note on Friday, February 10th. Benchmark Co. boosted their price objective on Activision Blizzard from $50.87 to $53.90 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, February 3rd. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $53.00 target price (up from $45.00) on shares of Activision Blizzard in a report on Friday, February 10th. Finally, Barclays PLC increased their price objective on Activision Blizzard to $48.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, February 10th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Activision Blizzard currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $53.37.

Shares of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) traded up 1.32% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $55.88. The company had a trading volume of 6,032,635 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $42.11 billion, a PE ratio of 41.00 and a beta of 1.03. Activision Blizzard has a 1-year low of $35.12 and a 1-year high of $57.30. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $51.91 and its 200 day moving average price is $44.11.

Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 4th. The company reported $0.27 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.16 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $1.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.09 billion. Activision Blizzard had a return on equity of 16.70% and a net margin of 13.86%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 31.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.23 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Activision Blizzard will post $1.99 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, Director Brian G. Kelly sold 420,063 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.90, for a total value of $20,961,143.70. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Riccardo Zacconi sold 19,761 shares of Activision Blizzard stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.45, for a total value of $1,095,747.45. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 55,509 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,077,974.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 459,585 shares of company stock valued at $22,954,238 over the last three months. 25.23% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in ATVI. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America raised its position in Activision Blizzard by 1.9% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 2,671 shares of the company’s stock valued at $133,000 after buying an additional 51 shares during the period. Physicians Financial Services Inc. increased its stake in shares of Activision Blizzard by 21.7% in the third quarter. Physicians Financial Services Inc. now owns 2,808 shares of the company’s stock valued at $124,000 after buying an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. increased its stake in shares of Activision Blizzard by 504.6% in the first quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 3,023 shares of the company’s stock valued at $151,000 after buying an additional 2,523 shares in the last quarter. Synovus Financial Corp acquired a new stake in shares of Activision Blizzard during the third quarter valued at $163,000. Finally, Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. acquired a new stake in shares of Activision Blizzard during the first quarter valued at $202,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.29% of the company’s stock.

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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