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The Resurrection Of Guitar Hero: Here's What It Means For Investors

The Resurrection Of Guitar Hero: Here's What It Means For Investors

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) on Tuesday announced a multi-platform launch of a new "Guitar Hero" game, one of its strongest franchises from 2007 to 2010 before falling off sharply and being suspending in 2011.

In a report published Wednesday, Brean Capital analyst Todd Mitchell said that the updated game is not expected become what was previously a $2 billion market, and the game's success will only offset attrition of its "Skylanders" franchise and help to maintain its casual gamer base.

Mitchell noted that during the genre's peak in 2008, "Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band" averaged a combined 3.8 million downloads per month on Xbox Live alone. As such, "Guitar Hero" would fall in line with Activision's strategy of creating "longer-lasting platforms" with recurring revenue streams.

The analyst is projecting initial sell through for "Guitar Hero" of two million units across all consoles in a potential fourth quarter release at a $100 price tag for software and peripheral bundle. For the full year fiscal 2015, Mitchell is expecting the company to report revenue of $4.6 billion (down 4 percent from $4.8 billion in 2014), which exceeds his prior estimate of $4.5 billion and above the company's $4.4 billion guidance.

Related Link: What Gaming Investors Need To See Before Earnings

Mithcell also added that he is also expecting "stronger long-tail" unit sales for "Call of Duty" and "Destiny" in the first quarter, both of which have tracked above expectations in industry reported datasets.

As such, the analyst concluded that he has "greater confidence" in his fiscal 2015 non-GAAP earnings per share estimate of $1.20, which is above the company's guidance of $1.15.

Shares remain Buy rated with a price target raised to $27 from a previous $25.

Latest Ratings for ATVI

May 2021BMO CapitalUpgradesMarket PerformOutperform
May 2021Deutsche BankMaintainsBuy
May 2021Morgan StanleyMaintainsOverweight

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