Video Game Makers ATVI, EA Receive Price-Target Raises

Options traders are put-skewed on both names

by Josh Selway

Published on Jan 28, 2020 at 10:35 AM

Two names enjoying bullish attention this morning are video game stocks Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Electronic Arts Inc (NASDAQ:EA). Both saw their price targets raised at Piper Sandler, helping lift ATVI and EA shares this morning.

Call of Duty maker ATVI's price target was increased to $69 from $62, pricing in more than 17% upside from today's perch at $58.90. The stock has been trending higher for months, touching a 52-week high of $61.90 earlier this month, while the previously supportive and 50-day moving average is quickly approaching from below.

Short-term options traders have taken an extremely put-focused approach on Activision. This is based on the security's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.53, a reading that ranks in the 97th annual percentile. In other words, put open interest among contracts expiring within three months outweighs call open interest by a much wider-than-normal amount.

As for Electronic Arts, its price target was moved up to $124 from $106, well above today's price of $111.23. Like its sector peer, EA has been strong on the charts, rising 26% in the past six months and hitting a fresh high of $114.13 on Jan. 24. Yesterday's pullback was neatly contained by the 20-day moving average.

It's interesting to note that options traders have taken the same put-heavy approach on EA as they have with ATVI. By the numbers, the stock's SOIR is 1.23 and ranks in the 100th annual percentile. Driving this put-skewed reading is heavy open interest at the March 85 put. Looking ahead, Electronics Arts is slated to report earnings after the close, Thursday, Jan. 30.


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