Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. is a worldwide pure-play online and console game publisher with leading market positions across all categories of the rapidly growing interactive entertainment software industry. Activision Blizzard’s portfolio includes best-selling video games such as Guitar Hero, Call of Duty, and Tony Hawk, as well as Spider-Man, X-Men, Shrek, James Bond and TRANSFORMERS, leading franchises such as Crash Bandicoot and Spyro and Blizzard Entertainment’s StarCraft, Diablo, and Warcraft franchises including the global number one subscription-based massively multi-player online role-playing game, World of Warcraft. Activision Blizzard maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Romania, Australia, Chile, India, Japan, China, the region of Taiwan and South Korea. “

ATVI has been the subject of a number of other reports. Vetr downgraded shares of Activision Blizzard from a hold rating to a sell rating and set a $40.89 target price for the company. in a report on Monday, September 5th. Jefferies Group restated a buy rating on shares of Activision Blizzard in a report on Monday, August 22nd. Morgan Stanley started coverage on shares of Activision Blizzard in a report on Friday, September 23rd. They set an overweight rating and a $56.00 price objective on the stock. Cowen and Company restated an outperform rating and set a $45.00 price objective on shares of Activision Blizzard in a report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Finally, Mizuho upped their price objective on shares of Activision Blizzard from $46.00 to $48.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, September 6th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $44.79.

Shares of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) traded up 0.41% during trading on Friday, reaching $44.10. 1,088,682 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Activision Blizzard has a one year low of $26.49 and a one year high of $45.12. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $43.09 and a 200-day moving average price of $39.16. The stock has a market cap of $32.70 billion, a P/E ratio of 44.41 and a beta of 1.09.

Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.45 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.42 by $0.03. The business earned $1.57 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.44 billion. Activision Blizzard had a net margin of 13.95% and a return on equity of 14.49%. The firm’s revenue was up 112.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.13 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts expect that Activision Blizzard will post $1.99 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Brian G. Kelly sold 386,927 shares of Activision Blizzard stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.51, for a total value of $15,674,412.77. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 292,929 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,866,553.79. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Robert A. Kotick sold 4,588,775 shares of Activision Blizzard stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.51, for a total value of $185,891,275.25. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 797,049 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $32,288,454.99. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 25.23% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Advisory Services Network LLC boosted its position in shares of Activision Blizzard by 24.0% in the third quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 3,669 shares of the company’s stock valued at $163,000 after buying an additional 711 shares during the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Activision Blizzard by 103.0% in the second quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 5,062 shares of the company’s stock valued at $201,000 after buying an additional 2,568 shares during the last quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. bought a new position in shares of Activision Blizzard during the second quarter valued at about $210,000. FDO Partners LLC bought a new position in shares of Activision Blizzard during the first quarter valued at about $216,000. Finally, Buckingham Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Activision Blizzard during the second quarter valued at about $216,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.67% of the company’s stock.

Activision Blizzard Company Profile

Activision Blizzard, Inc is a developer and publisher of online, personal computer (PC), video game console, handheld, mobile and tablet games. The Company operates through Activision Publishing, Inc (Activision) and its subsidiaries, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc (Blizzard) and its subsidiaries, and Other segments.

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