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BofA Downgrades Activision to Neutral from Buy

Banc Of America downgraded Activision (ATVI) to neutral from buy, explaining that most if not all the potential positive news on the holiday quarter is already priced into the stock.

Analyst Gary Cooper thinks the company's third quarter outlook is achievable and likely to be on the upside, but not as much as some expect. He does not expect the company to "blow away" its third quarter estimates, however, given subdued retail traffic ahead of the Xbox 360 launch and the low ratings of True Crime: New York City, among other things. He sees 55 cents third quarter earnings per share (compared to the Street consensus at 53 cents), and does not think anything above the high-50 cents range is likely. He believes guidance on the January conference call is likely to meet or slightly miss his 60 cents fiscal year 2007 (ending March) estimates. He also cut his $21 target to $18.

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