A note from Barclays revealed that Activision Blizzard, Inc. is set for disappointment regarding Call of Duty sales after feedback from numerous retailers and third-party data services, including NPD. The latest title in Activision’s first-person shooter game, “Infinite Warfare” came out last month on November 4, 2016.
According to analyst Christopher Merwin the reason behind Infinite Warfare’s poor showing is because of the low quality of the product Infinity Ward have delivered which has had a negative effect on sales. This isn’t the first time as well as the same studio was also behind Call Of Duty: Ghosts back in 2013 which was a major letdown for gamers.
There is some good news for the future of the franchise however with Barclays predicting a likely recovery in 2018, with Treyarch’s next version of “Black Ops.” The firm believes that the stock will likely re-rate to $45 or better, particularly ahead of 2018, which is expected to be a better year for the company as it would include “Black Ops,” “Diablo 4,” King ads and eSports.
Barclays also lowered its fourth-quarter revenue estimate for “Call of Duty” to -32 percent year-over-year from -5 percent year-over-year, assuming 22 percent ASP increase and a 47 percent decline in units. Accordingly, the firm’s earnings per share estimate for the quarter is lowered to $0.60 from $0.79.
In Barclays view the last hurdle for the company’s shares would be the fourth-quarter results and the 2017 guidance. Consequently, the firm thinks the shares will move higher, as execution improves throughout the next year. With the potential upside twice the downside, the firm is clearly of the opinion that Activision shares offer a lucrative risk/reward balance.
As such, the firm maintained its Overweight rating but it lowered its price target for the shares of Activision to $44 from $50.
Is the Call of Duty franchise on a steady decline ? or are we all being a tad bit unfair considering Infinite Warfare was the best selling console game in the US. Let us know your opinion by commenting in the comments section below.