Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI), the maker of the “Call of Duty” video games, gained the most in more than a month after Piper Jaffray upgraded the stock to overweight from neutral.
Activision increased 3.5 percent to $12.23 at the close, the biggest gain since July 18. The Santa Monica, California- based company has declined 1 percent this year.
Michael Olson, an analyst with Piper Jaffray in Minneapolis, raised his 12-month price target for the shares to $14 from $13, citing new editions of “Call of Duty,” “World of Warcraft” and “Skylanders.” The games will appear on shelves in time for the holiday season.
“A streamlined, franchise-focused portfolio is poised to outperform,” Olson wrote in a note to investors today. “Investor sentiment is positioned to improve as risk-averse investors discover the reliability of Activision’s business model.”
Activision, led by Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick since 1992, is 61 percent owned by Paris-based Vivendi SA (VIV), also parent of Universal Music. The French company is under pressure from investors to boost its share price and Chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou on July 12 said “it’s a possibility” his company may sell Activision.
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