Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $50.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target suggests a potential upside of 12.33% from the stock’s current price.

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. “

Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on ATVI. Pacific Crest restated a “buy” rating on shares of Activision Blizzard in a report on Saturday, June 4th. Cowen and Company restated a “buy” rating on shares of Activision Blizzard in a report on Saturday, June 4th. Barclays PLC restated a “buy” rating on shares of Activision Blizzard in a report on Saturday, June 18th. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “buy” rating and set a $35.00 price target on shares of Activision Blizzard in a report on Tuesday, July 12th. Finally, Robert W. Baird restated an “outperform” rating and set a $46.00 price target (up from $43.00) on shares of Activision Blizzard in a report on Sunday, August 7th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $44.05.

Analyst Recommendations for Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI)

Shares of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) opened at 44.51 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $33.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 44.82 and a beta of 1.02. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $41.99 and its 200 day moving average is $38.19. Activision Blizzard has a 12-month low of $26.49 and a 12-month high of $45.12.

Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.42 by $0.03. The business earned $1.57 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.44 billion. Activision Blizzard had a return on equity of 14.49% and a net margin of 13.95%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 112.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.13 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Activision Blizzard will post $1.98 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Activision Blizzard news, CEO Riccardo Zacconi sold 19,761 shares of Activision Blizzard 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 owns 97,177 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,950,245.05. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Brian G. Kelly sold 386,927 shares of Activision Blizzard stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.51, for a total value of $15,674,412.77. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 292,929 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,866,553.79. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 25.23% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. FMR LLC increased its stake in 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 during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Activision Blizzard by 3.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 33,277,915 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,318,803,000 after buying an additional 1,166,054 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its position in Activision Blizzard by 45.0% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 30,276,592 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,199,862,000 after buying an additional 9,390,129 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its position in Activision Blizzard by 2.6% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 19,349,183 shares of the company’s stock valued at $766,806,000 after buying an additional 492,609 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its position in 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 valued at $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.

Activision Blizzard Company Profile

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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