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Cowen's Gamescom Takeaways

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The latest Ordometer indicates that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare [CoD] had trended weakly last week, versus Black Ops III last year. However, while considering the latest Ordometer score for CoD, it should be remembered that this was not “a typical pre-launch for the game in several respects,” Cowen's Doug Creutz said in a report.

Activision

The Ordometer score of 16.6 for Infinite Warfare is significantly below the franchise average of 85.2 and short of where Advanced Warfare was at the same point. Analyst Creutz pointed out, however, that Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) [Rated: Outperform, PT: $45] was not at E3, and therefore CoD received substantially lower promotion than usual.

“We think that could be affecting early preorders, which we expect to accelerate after the XP event on September 2-4; management indicated on their Q2 conference call that they intend to begin the marketing push for the game at that time,” Creutz wrote.

Management also indicated a record-high take rate for higher-priced SKUs, which suggests a significantly higher than normal ASP for Infinite Warfare, which could offset any potential unit sales weakness. The analyst further commented that a bearish call on Activision based on CoD's Ordometer score “would be premature at this point.”

Key Titles From Electronic Arts, Take-Two

Key titles of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) [Rated: Outperform, PT: $83] and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) [Rated: Outperform, PT: $45] are trending in-line with expectations.

“Battlefield 1 is tracking very comparably with where BF3 and BF4 were at the same point in their launch cycles, suggesting BF1 can sell low/mid-teens units, like its predecessors,” Creutz noted.

The trend of Titanfall 2 suggests that it would be 5-6-million-unit title. Although this is in-line with the current guidance, the title could record up to 10 million units, in view of the original game’s good reputation. Mafia III is tracking for 2-3-million-unit sales, which is inadequate to drive upside, but may prove enough to allow the company to meet the guidance, the analyst added.

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Latest Ratings for ATVI

DateFirmActionFromTo
Nov 2019MaintainsBuy
Nov 2019MaintainsOverweight
Nov 2019MaintainsOutperform

View More Analyst Ratings for ATVI
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