Buy Calls on Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts Stocks Right Now

Window dressing could be popular in the last week of the second quarter

Jun 21, 2017 at 12:10 PM
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The second quarter will come to a close next Friday, which could spark some last-minute window dressing. In other words, portfolio managers will buy outperforming stocks and sell underperforming names to make their holdings look more impressive. As such, Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White unveiled  the 20 best stocks on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) so far in 2017, with video game makers Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) on the list. Here's a closer look at why it might be a good time to buy calls on ATVI and EA.

Activision Blizzard Shares Near New High on Positive Analyst Attention

ATVI stock has added a whopping 67.4% year-to-date, with this impressive price action underscored by the stock's rising 30-day moving average. Today, the shares are up 0.5% at $60.44 -- within striking distance of yesterday's annual high of $61.10 -- after Benchmark boosted its price target on the shares to $71 from $60, citing a positive risk/reward backdrop.

There's certainly room for more upbeat analyst attention to come down the pike, considering three brokerage firms still maintain a "hold" or "strong sell" recommendation toward Activision Blizzard. Plus, the average 12-month price target of $61.93 represents a slim 2.6% premium to the stock's current perch.

Now's a relatively affordable time to bet on ATVI's near-term trajectory with options, too. For starters, the stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 23% ranks in the 11th annual percentile, meaning low volatility expectations are being priced into its short-term options. Plus, Activision Blizzard's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) reading of 79 suggests the security has tended to make bigger moves than what the options market has priced in.

Short-Term EA Options are Cheap Right Now

Electronics Arts shares topped out at a record high of $116.04 on June 8, but were last seen trading at $113.36 -- up 43.9% in 2017. The stock's rising 30-day moving average has helped lift the shares higher in the last six months, and quickly contained EA's most recent pullback.

EA's impressive price performance could earn it a round of bullish brokerage notes, too. Of the 14 brokerages covering the shares, four continue to maintain lukewarm "hold" ratings, while the consensus 12-month price target of $117 stands at a 3.5% premium to Electronic Arts stock's trading price.

What's more, the security's SVI of 23% ranks in the low 27th percentile of its annual range. Simply stated, short-term EA options are attractively priced, from a volatility perspective.

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