Analyst Presses Pause on This Video Game Stock

ATVI has shed 45% since its Oct. 1 record high

by Patrick Martin

Published on Dec 4, 2018 at 9:16 AM

The shares of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) are down 0.2% in electronic trading, after Wedbush removed the video game maker from its "Best Idea" list. The brokerage firm did however maintain its outperform rating and $81 price target on ATVI.  

This reevaluation follows ATVI's struggles in recent months. Since its Oct. 1 record high of $84.68, Activision shares have shed 45%, guided lower by their 10-day moving average and culminating in an annual bottom of $46.45 yesterday. Plus, in the past nine weeks, the security has only posted one weekly win. What's more, Activision Blizzard has been one of the worst stocks on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) in December over the past 10 years.

Analysts, for the most part, remain committed to the video game name, though. Of the 22 brokerages covering ATVI, 17 rate it a "buy" or "strong buy," with zero "sells" on the books. Furthermore, it's average 12-month price target of $73.69 is a 58% premium to last night's closing perch of $46.60. 

Elsewhere, near-term options traders are unusually put-skewed at the moment. This is based on the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.21, which ranks 1 percentage point from an annual high.

Drilling down, the December 45 put is home to peak open interest of 26,692 contracts. However, Trade-Alert indicates the bulk of these options were sold to open back on Nov. 15, when ATVI was trading near $52.


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