The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Activision Blizzard, Apple, Amazon, Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive Software

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Activision Blizzard, Apple, Amazon,
              Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive Software

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Feb. 13, 2013

CHICAGO, Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include Activision Blizzard Inc.
(Nasdaq:ATVI), Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL), Amazon (Nasdaq:AMZN), Electronic Arts
(Nasdaq:EA) and Take-Two Interactive Software (Nasdaq:TTWO).


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Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Activision's Skylanders Hits $1B

Activision Blizzard Inc.'s (Nasdaq:ATVI) publishing division recently
announced that the Skylanders franchise has garnered $1 billion in retail
sales. The company came up with the fact based on the data available from
market research firm The NPD group, Gfk Chart-track and the company's internal

Activision crossed the billion-dollar mark in just 15 months and has become
the first kids IP to achieve such a milestone in such a short span. Moreover,
the company sold 100 million toys as of Jan 2013.

We believe that the popularity of the Skylanders franchise lies in the novelty
of the concept of bringing toys to life. Moreover, Activision's timely
initiative of rolling out a mobile version of Skylanders Cloud Patrol for
Apple's (Nasdaq:AAPL) iTunes App store and Amazon's (Nasdaq:AMZN) Kindle Fire
also enhanced its popularity, in our view. Additionally, the company has
launched the franchise's latest installment, Skylanders SWAP Force.

The success of Skylanders comes at an opportune moment for Activision. Of
late, the company has tasted success with its blockbuster first person shooter
(FPS) game Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, which topped the NPD's top 2012 games

Buoyed by the strong performance of Call of Duty and Skylanders franchise,
Activision reported robust top-line growth in the last reported quarter. The
company also intends to release expansion packs of these franchises' games to
build on the popularity going forward.

However, the company remains cautious regarding fiscal 2013 due to the
volatile macro economic environment coupled with uncertainly related to the
console transition and tough year-over-year comparisons. Moreover, the company
also provided a tepid outlook.

We also believe that the continued softness in the video game industry,
limited presence in the mobile gaming segment, higher adoption of free-to-play
games and significant competition from Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:EA) and
Take-Two Interactive Software (Nasdaq:TTWO) are the major headwinds for
Activision going forward. Moreover, continued investments in new products are
expected to hurt margins in the near term.

Currently, Activision Blizzard has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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