Activision Blizzard Inc (NASDAQ:ATVI) and the Potential for Overwatch

tags: ATVI

After essentially boycotting the biggest gaming expo of 2016, along with a number of other huge publishers, Activision Blizzard Inc (NASDAQ:ATVI) are banking big on their newest big product – Overwatch. Will the company’s latest hit game really make up for as much revenues as analysts estimate?

Activision dropped news at E3 that Overwatch surpassed 10 million players. This impressive number was reached within around three weeks of the game’s launch and covered all platforms. The game combines a hefty AAA $60 upfront price tag and has microtransactions for cosmetics as well, which is a great way to maximize earnings in the long run, even after actual sales start dropping off.

Analysts with Pacific Crest expect an upside in Q2 and think Overwatch will contribute a hefty 21% to the quarter’s total revenues, with a contribution margin of 65%. Recent news also indicate that Overwatch is overtaking the wildly successful League of Legends title as the most played game in Korean Internet cafes, which is quite an achievement.

Pacific Crest expects EPS of $0.46 in the quarter, which is 5 cents higher than the consensus of $0.41.

The company may have a more difficult time selling its latest Call of Duty installment this holiday season, after its trailer became the most disliked gaming video on YouTube, with over 3 million dislikes and counting. The new CoD will also be sold bundled with a remake of 2007’s CoD: Modern Warfare – arguably the most beloved part of the long-running franchise, which might give sales a push.

A rundown of analyst recommendations indicates that ATVI stock has been rated a buy by 14 firms, followed by 5 strong buy recommendations and 2 holds.

ATVI took a minor blow in the Friday market aftermath of the Brexit vote in the UK, but is now recovering, closing 2.8% up yesterday, at $37.18 per share.

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