Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. is a worldwide pure-play online and console game publisher with leading market positions across all categories of the rapidly growing interactive entertainment software industry. Activision Blizzard’s portfolio includes best-selling video games such as Guitar Hero, Call of Duty, and Tony Hawk, as well as Spider-Man, X-Men, Shrek, James Bond and TRANSFORMERS, leading franchises such as Crash Bandicoot and Spyro and Blizzard Entertainment’s StarCraft, Diablo, and Warcraft franchises including the global number one subscription-based massively multi-player online role-playing game, World of Warcraft. Activision Blizzard maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Romania, Australia, Chile, India, Japan, China, the region of Taiwan and South Korea. “

A number of other research firms have also recently issued reports on ATVI. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $55.00 target price on shares of Activision Blizzard in a research note on Monday, September 12th. Vetr lowered Activision Blizzard from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $42.09 price target on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. Robert W. Baird restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $46.00 price target on shares of Activision Blizzard in a report on Thursday, September 8th. Mizuho boosted their price target on Activision Blizzard from $46.00 to $48.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 6th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. restated a “hold” rating and issued a $44.00 price target on shares of Activision Blizzard in a report on Tuesday, September 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $43.61.

Analyst Recommendations for Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI)

Shares of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) opened at 44.67 on Tuesday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $41.87 and a 200-day moving average price of $38.15. The firm has a market cap of $33.12 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 44.98 and a beta of 1.02. Activision Blizzard has a 12-month low of $26.49 and a 12-month high of $44.89.

Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.42 by $0.03. Activision Blizzard had a return on equity of 14.49% and a net margin of 13.95%. The firm earned $1.57 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.44 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.13 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 112.0% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Activision Blizzard will post $1.97 EPS for the current year.

In related news, COO Thomas Tippl sold 75,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.76, for a total transaction of $3,282,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Riccardo Zacconi sold 19,761 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.65, for a total value of $803,284.65. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 97,177 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,950,245.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 25.23% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of ATVI. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Activision Blizzard by 88.7% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 105,342,767 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,174,735,000 after buying an additional 49,511,148 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Activision Blizzard by 3.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 33,277,915 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,318,803,000 after buying an additional 1,166,054 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its stake in shares of Activision Blizzard by 45.0% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 30,276,592 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,199,862,000 after buying an additional 9,390,129 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of Activision Blizzard by 2.6% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 19,349,183 shares of the company’s stock worth $766,806,000 after buying an additional 492,609 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its stake in shares of Activision Blizzard by 4.8% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 14,279,811 shares of the company’s stock worth $565,909,000 after buying an additional 650,789 shares in the last quarter. 83.67% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard, Inc is a developer and publisher of online, personal computer (PC), video game console, handheld, mobile and tablet games. The Company operates through Activision Publishing, Inc (Activision) and its subsidiaries, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc (Blizzard) and its subsidiaries, and Other segments.

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