Activision Blizzard (ATVI) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued 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.”

Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. Cowen cut shares of Activision Blizzard from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $66.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, October 9th. Vetr cut shares of Activision Blizzard from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $59.97 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, October 23rd. Wedbush set a $75.00 target price on shares of Activision Blizzard and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th. UBS Group increased their target price on shares of Activision Blizzard from $72.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Activision Blizzard from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $69.94.

Shares of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) traded up $0.64 during trading on Monday, reaching $66.83. 4,500,900 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,794,400. The company has a current ratio of 2.25, a quick ratio of 2.22 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44. Activision Blizzard has a one year low of $38.30 and a one year high of $67.40. The company has a market cap of $52,350.00, a PE ratio of 45.77, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.94 and a beta of 1.02.

In other news, CEO Riccardo Zacconi sold 19,761 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.64, for a total value of $1,257,590.04. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 41,435 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,636,923.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 2.12% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Activision Blizzard by 321.5% in the 3rd quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 1,547 shares of the company’s stock valued at $100,000 after purchasing an additional 1,180 shares during the last quarter. Grove Bank & Trust raised its position 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 last quarter. Phocas Financial Corp. purchased a new position in shares of Activision Blizzard in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $173,000. BB&T Investment Services Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Activision Blizzard in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $189,000. Finally, Yorktown Management & Research Co Inc purchased a new position in shares of Activision Blizzard in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $201,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.48% 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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