Piper Jaffray Reiterates Upbeat View of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI) Ahead of Earnings

As earnings season rolls forward, Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson is out with a bullish note on shares of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI). The analyst reiterates an Overweight rating on ATVI, while raising the price target to $65 (from $60), ahead of video gaming giant’s second quarter earnings on August 3. (To watch Olson’s track record, click here)

Olson wrote, “We see potential for slight revenue and EPS upside, driven primarily by ongoing microtransactions for Overwatch offsetting a weaker sell through and DLC for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. We look for growth of digital revenue sources (both Overwatch and Call of Duty Black Ops III) to mitigate weaker sell-through of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and associated DLC. Activision’s June quarter NPD revenue was down 42% y/y (vs. our ex-King revenue estimate of -33%), but it’s worth noting that NPD has understated actual y/y growth by an average of 30ppts over the past two quarters due to a shift to digital sources, which NPD does not capture. Regarding FY17 guidance, we would expect a slight increase in the EPS outlook, potentially consistent with any Q2 EPS beat.”

Out of the 12 analysts polled in the past 3 months, 11 rate Activision Blizzard stock a Buy, while only one rates the stock a Hold. With a downside potential of nearly 5%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $64.38.


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