Skip to main content

Market Overview

Morgan Stanley: Activision Blizzard Has Multiple Catalysts In 2019

Morgan Stanley: Activision Blizzard Has Multiple Catalysts In 2019

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) may be struggling, but it received a vote of confidence from a still-bullish analyst this week. 

The Analyst

Morgan Stanley Brian Nowak maintains an Overweight rating and lowered his price target from $72 to $60.

The Thesis

The last six months have been rocky for Activision Blizzard, but Nowak said the company has three catalysts forthcoming in 2019: "Diablo," the Electronic Entertainment Expo and BlizzCon. 

Although Morgan Stanley does not model for "Diablo Immortal" to come out until 2020 in its base case, Nowak said the mobile game could be launched globally this year. 

The E3 conference in June will be a key opportunity to showcase the Activision studio pipeline, including this year’s "Call of Duty" title, the analyst said. Morgan Stanley is seeking more details on a potential free "Blackout" mode as a way to drive higher digital engagement and monetization prior to a full "CoD" launch in the fourth quarter, he said. 

BlizzCon 2019 in November will be critical, as it will set expectations for the 2020 Blizzard release slate, Nowak said. 

“In our view, confirming a new console/PC 'Diablo' launch would be a positive catalyst, as it will increase investor visibility into the EPS pipeline." 

The impact of the growth of digital gaming and more free-to-play options like "Fortnite" is that gamers are playing their favorite games for longer and they have more options, meaning only the best content will be successful, the analyst said. 

“There are no more ‘B’ titles ... gaming is now a world of ‘As’ and ‘Ds’." 

Price Action

Activision Blizzard shares were up 1.33 percent at $47.90 at the time of publication Friday. 

Related Links:

Electronic Arts May Have Lost Its Creative Way, Jefferies Says In Downgrade

Pachter: Video Game Stocks Are 'Relatively Recession-Proof'

Latest Ratings for ATVI

Feb 2021BenchmarkMaintainsBuy
Feb 2021Argus ResearchMaintainsBuy
Feb 2021Deutsche BankMaintainsBuy

View More Analyst Ratings for ATVI
View the Latest Analyst Ratings


Related Articles (ATVI)

View Comments and Join the Discussion!

Posted-In: Blizzcon 2019 Brian Nowak Diablo E3Analyst Color Price Target Reiteration Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga

Latest Ratings

NIUDaiwa CapitalInitiates Coverage On41.5
QMCONorthland Capital MarketsInitiates Coverage On12.0
IBKRJefferiesInitiates Coverage On89.0
MRETFTD SecuritiesDowngrades18.5
SWKSGoldman SachsDowngrades135.0
View the Latest Analytics Ratings
Don't Miss Any Updates!
News Directly in Your Inbox
Subscribe to:
Benzinga Premarket Activity
Get pre-market outlook, mid-day update and after-market roundup emails in your inbox.
Market in 5 Minutes
Everything you need to know about the market - quick & easy.
Fintech Focus
A daily collection of all things fintech, interesting developments and market updates.
Everything you need to know about the latest SPAC news.
Thank You

Thank you for subscribing! If you have any questions feel free to call us at 1-877-440-ZING or email us at