Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) is in the limelight after the company recently launched a free mobile version of its hit game Call of Duty. The mobile version of this game was hitherto available in China, but the company will now release it worldwide. Analysts believe that this move will help the company compete with Fortnite and Apex Legends, which are getting a lot of traction in-game players around the world. Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak recently said in a note that Call of Duty Mobile is a way for Activision to capitalize on its leading game in order to enter the growing free mobile games market. However, the analyst believes that the mobile beta version of the game is an “execution risk.” Nowak is also positive about the overall E-Sports industry, in which he considers Activision has a lead. According to the analyst’s calculations, Call of Duty league is selling franchises for $25 million each.
He thinks that Activision’s E-Sports franchise will have a worth up to $3 billion in the long term.
According to the latest report by eMarketer, digital ad revenue lured for the video gaming industry will rise by a whopping 25% to $178.1 million in 2019. By the end of next year, this revenue is expected to cross $213 million.
Earlier in March, Activision Blizzard got a bullish rating from Piper Jaffray. The investment firm’s analyst Michael Olson thinks that investors should be hopeful amid improvements coming in 2019 and 2020. Olson believes that the company is refocusing on key franchises. Piper Jaffray has an Overweight rating for the stock with a price target of $52.
There is another critical activity around Activision stock which is making investors excited. Recently, one of the company directors, Peter Nolan, increased his stake in the company by 100,000 shares worth $4.3 million. This significant insider activity is pointing to a lot of bullish sentiments brewing in the stock.
In the fourth quarter, Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI)’s non-GAAP earnings increased by 83.7% year over year to reach 90 cents per share, while revenue in the period increased by 7.4% to reach $2.48 billion.