Analyst Picks Favorites in Video Game Sector

Stephens prefers EA to TTWO

by Patrick Martin

Published on Jan 14, 2020 at 9:51 AM

The shares of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) are down 1.5% to trade at $126.41 today, after a downgrade from Stephens. The brokerage firm cut its rating on the video game company to "equal-weight" from "overweight," while trimming its price target to $110 from $145. Interestingly, the analyst in coverage is still bullish on video game stocks, and views sector peer Electronic Arts (EA) as cheaper and with more releases in the next year. 

Take-Two stock has spent the majority of its last six months consolidating below the $126 level. While the shares cleared this area on Thursday, they're set to give it back today. The good news is that the damage is contained by TTWO's 100-day moving average, a trendline that previously served as resistance between October and the new year. 

The majority of analysts are bullish, with 16 out of 19 rating TTWO a "buy" or better, and zero sells on the books. Plus, the consensus 12-month price target of $136.30 sits up in territory not seen since September 2018. 

Put buying though has been overly popular at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), where the 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.94 stands in the 91st annual percentile. So, while calls have outpaced puts on an absolute basis, the rate of put buying relative to call buying has been accelerated.

Whatever the motive, options are certainly the right move for anyone looking to invest in the video game stock. The security's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 34% sits in the 16th percentile of its annual range. This means short-term options are pricing in extremely low volatility expectations right now.

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