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Goldman Cuts Electronic Arts, THQ Ratings

Goldman Sachs downgraded Activision (ATVI), Electronics Arts (ERTS), and THQ Interactive (THQ) to underperform.

Analyst Chris DeBiase says he's concerned about slowing industry growth in 2003 after a series of negative datapoints and continued sluggish consumer spending. DeBiase says November data leads him to believe that this slowdown has occurred more quickly than expected. He notes the November anniversary launch of Xbox and GameCube and the shorter calendar after Thanksgiving, which may have a slight negative effect on sales. Additionally, overall hardware data also surprised to the downside. He cut his ratings across the board to underperform and moved the sector view to cautious.

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