ATVI Stock Spikes After Bull Note

Activision Blizzard stock is back above its 50-day moving average

Sep 11, 2018 at 1:28 PM
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Video game giant Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) has been generating buzz ahead of the company's new "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" game, which will feature a Fortnite-like battle royale mode when it's released about a month from now, on Oct. 12. ATVI shares are rallying in today's trading, too, up 6.3% at $78.93, on pace for the first close above their 50-day moving average since July.

Sparking the rally is likely Stifel's bullish note, in which it swapped out sector rival Electronics Arts (EA) for Activision on its "Select List." The brokerage firm has a "buy" rating on ATVI and expects a strong holiday season because of the Call of Duty release. Most other analysts are already bullish on the equity, with 14 of 20 sporting "buy" or better recommendations.

Options activity today also seems bullish, with volume running at three times the expected pace. Calls are more than doubling puts, and the October 80 call is most popular. Considering most of these calls have crossed at the bid price and the option was already home to notable open interest, it's likely that heavy sell-to-close activity is occurring here. Looking elsewhere, the September 77 put is seeing new positions opened today, as is the weekly 9/14 80-strike call.

Despite the increased attention for the stock and high activity in the options pits, near-term premiums aren't through the roof on Activision Blizzard. That's according to its 30-day at-the-money implied volatility (ATM IV) of 30.6%, in the middling 57th annual percentile.

atvi stock chart

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