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January 17, 2014
12:38 EDTATVIActivision says Call of Duty: Ghosts best-selling game overall in December
Activision Publishing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, announced that Call of Duty and Skylanders continue to top U.S. NPD charts for 2013. "Call of Duty: Ghosts" was the number one best-selling title overall in December, and the number one best-selling next gen title of 2013 on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4; Call of Duty was the number one franchise for the fifth year in a row in both software units and dollars in the U.S., according to the NPD Group. Skylanders SWAP Force was the number two best-selling title overall in December; Skylanders was the number one best-selling kids video game franchise of 2013 in the U.S. for the second consecutive year, and the number three video game franchise overall for the year in the U.S., according to the NPD Group and including toys and accessories.
News For ATVI From The Last 14 Days
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November 23, 2015
12:08 EDTATVIOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks on Wall Street were slightly higher at midday but have moved in a very narrow trading range throughout the morning. The market, coming off one of its best weeks of the year, appears to be consolidating its gains amid the increased caution that prevails worldwide, highlighted by the ongoing lockdown of Brussels due to its assessment of a "serious and imminent" terrorist threat. There was little help from the day's economic data, as reports on manufacturing and existing home sales both came in below expectations. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., Markit's flash manufacturing PMI for November fell 1.5 points to 52.6, missing expectations for a 54.0 reading. Existing home sales dropped 3.4% to a 5.36M rate in October, lower than the forecast for a 5.4M rate. The Chicago Fed National Activity Index showed a reading of -0.04, versus the expected +0.05 reading. In Europe, Markit's composite services and manufacturing PMI rose to 54.4 in October from a prior reading of 53.9. That reading marks the euro-area's highest level since May 2011. COMPANY NEWS: As telegraphed in recent media reports, Pfizer (PFE) and Allergan (AGN) announced plans to combine, creating the world's largest drugmaker. The companies have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which they will combine in a stock transaction valued at $363.63 per Allergan share, for a total enterprise value of approximately $160B, based on the closing price of Pfizer common stock on November 20. Amid concerns that regulators may try to block the huge deal, or make rule changes that will make it less lucrative, Pfizer shares declined more than 2.5% while Allergan saw a similar percentage slide... Alcoa (AA) jumped more than 5% higher after activist investor Elliott Management revealed a 6.4% stake, saying it seeks to engage in a "constructive dialogue" regarding the company's recently spin-off transaction as well as a number of added opportunities it sees to maximize shareholder value. In other activist investor news, Carl Icahn said in an open letter that his talks with AIG (AIG) CEO Peter Hancock make it "abundantly clear" that he is not willing to take the bold steps that Icahn has pushed for, including the suggestion that the insurer separate into three public companies to shrink below the threshold for systemically important financial institutions. Icahn added that he intends to commence shortly a consent solicitation that will enable shareholders to express their views directly to the board, which may include a proposal to add a new director who would agree in advance to succeed Hancock as CEO if asked by the board to do so. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Tyson Foods (TSN), which rallied 9% after reporting quarterly results and guiding for fiscal 2016. Also higher was Chipotle (CMG), which rebounded 5% after several analysts opined on the company's outlook after shares pulled back Friday as the company confirmed that six new cases of E. coli linked to its restaurants had been identified in four additional states. In addition, SunEdison was up 9% after the company announced that CFO Brian Wuebbels will take over as the president and CEO at its two "YieldCos." Among the notable losers was GameStop (GME), which fell 7.5% after reporting weaker than expected Q3 results. Electronic Arts (EA) and Activision Blizzard (ATVI), whose games are sold at GameStop, slipped nearly 6% and 0.5%, respectively, after the retailer's report. Also lower was Diebold (DBD), which dropped 8% after it announced that it will acquire Wincor Nixdorf in a cash and stock deal valued at $1.8B. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 7.52, or 0.04%, to 17,831.33, the Nasdaq was up 14.78, or 0.29%, to 5,119.70, and the S&P 500 was up 4.64, or 0.22%, to 2,093.81.
10:18 EDTATVIGameStop plunges on weaker than expected Q3 earnings
Shares of GameStop (GME) are plunging in morning trading after the company reported downbeat third quarter earnings on lower new software and hardware sales and delays in store openings. The company also provided guidance for the fourth quarter and reiterated its outlook for fiscal year 2015. WHAT'S NEW: Before the market open, GameStop reported Q3 adjusted earnings per share of 54c on revenue of $2.02B, below analysts' consensus estimates of 59c and $2.14B, respectively. GameStop added that global same-store sales for the quarter were down 1.1% year over year, with SSS down 1.7% in the United States and up 0.3% internationally. The company said foreign currency negatively impacted EPS by 2c and sales by about $100M and noted that it recorded $1.6M of one-time charges as a result of non-recurring acquisition-related costs. GameStop said new hardware sales declined 20.4%, while new software sales were down 9.3%; pre-owned sales were up 0.6%, the company said. Commenting on the quarter, Chief Executive Officer Paul Raines said that the company's results fell to the low end of its guidance range -- 53c-60c for EPS on SSS up 1% to up 4% -- due to "lower than expected new software and hardware sales and delays in Technology Brands store openings." The company provided an outlook for the fourth quarter, forecasting EPS of $2.12-$2.32, below analysts' estimates of $2.37, and SSS ranging from down 1% to up 6%. Despite the disappointing Q3 earnings and weak Q4 guidance, GameStop affirmed its FY15 EPS view of $3.66-$3.86 and added that it expects full year same store sales to grow 2%-6%. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Prior to the retailer's Q3 earnings report, Steven Russolillo of the Wall Street Journal's Ahead of the tape said that GameStop was "running out of lives" since it has experienced an increasingly challenging video game retail environment due to a rising number of shoppers buying games digitally. Russolillo noted that GameStop's resale business is still profitable and may pare losses somewhat. In addition, NPD Group reported earlier this month a 3% year over year decline in game software retail sales in the U.S. in October. The loss came even despite the major launch of Microsoft's (MSFT) flagship title "Halo 5: Guardians." STREET RESEARCH: Piper Jaffray analyst Michael J. Olson said that GameStop is "clearly" seeing an impact from increasing digital software sales, but that the firm expects digital expansion to ease during the holiday quarter. Olson added that the video game industry is currently in the "renewed growth phase" and that he expects trends in the sector to be strong heading into 2016. The analyst maintained an Overweight rating and $57 price target on the company's stock. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, GameStop slipped 13.93% to $33.89. The company will hold its earnings conference call at 11am. OTHERS TO WATCH: Video game makers are also lower this morning. Shares of Electronic Arts (EA) are down 2.26%, Take Two Interactive (TTWO) is down 0.84% and Activision Blizzard is down 1.55%.
November 16, 2015
09:48 EDTATVIActivision Blizzard management to meet with Brean Capital
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November 13, 2015
10:48 EDTATVIGameStop retreats after downgrade, NPD sales data
Video game retailer GameStop (GME) is falling after its stock was downgraded by Pacifc Crest and a research firm estimated that video game software sale declined 3% last month compared to the same month of last year. Notably, the news comes after video game makers Activision Blizzard (ATVI) and Electronic Arts (EA) have recently announced some upbeat news. WHAT'S NEW: Pacific Crest analyst Evan Wilson cut his rating on GameStrop to Sector Weight from Overweight, citing weaker than expected physical game sales, the growth of digital games, and the stock's gains. Noting that research firm NPD reported that sales of new physical software video games had dropped 3% year-over-year last month, Wilson says he is not as optimistic as he had been that the category will grow going forward. Additionally, the popularity of digital games, where GameStop's market share and profitability are much lower than in physical software, is hurting the retailer, the analyst stated. The new video games due out in 2016 don't look especially impressive, and before today's trading, GameStop's stock was approaching Wilson's previous price target, the analyst wrote. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Activision Blizzard's stock climbed November 11 and November 12 after the company announced that its new Call of Duty video game had generated more than $550M of sales in the first weekend it was available. In a note to investors on November 11, Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson said he still anticipates that Activision will sell 20.5M units of Call of Duty this year. However, he added that the estimate could prove conservative, given solid reviews of the game and a bigger next-gen console installed base. He kept an Overweight rating on the shares. On October 29, Electronic Arts reported stronger than expected second quarter results and provided stronger than expected Q3 guidance. The company's "Star Wars: Battlefront" game, due out November 17, has generally gotten good reviews from analysts. The video game should be "one of the strongest titles" this quarter, and should kick off an important franchise for the company, predicted Piper's Olson, who expects the company to sell 13.5M units of the game. He kept an $87 price target and Overweight rating on EA shares. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, GameStop dropped 12% to $39.20, Electronic Arts slid 1% to $70.93 and Activision fell 1.8% to $34.39.
05:40 EDTATVIOctober NPD video game software declined 3%, says Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson says October NPD video game software declined 3% year-over-year, with Microsoft's (MSFT) Halo 5 being the top title by a "wide margin." Enough next generation hardware has now been sold to drive sustainable software growth on a quarterly basis, Olson tells investors in a research note. He maintains Overweight ratings on Activision Blizzard (ATVI), Electronic Arts (EA), GameStop (GME) and Take-Two (TTWO).
November 11, 2015
10:04 EDTATVIPiper says 20.5M unit 'Call of Duty' estimate for 2015 could be conservative
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09:48 EDTATVIActivision 'Call of Duty' results bode well for EA, GameStop, says Baird
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08:10 EDTATVIActivision says new 'Call of Duty' exceeds $550M in first weekend sales
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