March 18, 2013 at 08:19 AM EDT
Stifel Nicolaus Boosts Price Target on Activision (ATVI)

On Friday, Stifel Nicolaus analysts raised the price target on video game maker Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI) due to positive Feburary sales data and optimistic future expectations.

The analysts maintain a “Buy” rating on ATVI and see shares reaching $17, up from the previous target of $15. This new valuation suggests a 16% upside to Friday’s closing price of $14.65.

Drew Crum, analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, said, “[O]n Thursday The NPD Group, Inc. reported U.S. video games sales (packaged goods) for February w/ ATVI up +14% vs. our assumption (and limited consensus) for low/mid single-digits growth. Call of Duty + Skylanders represented (collectively) 70%+ of ATVI’s software sales, based on the report. […] With healthy trends for Activision Publishing, the potential for additional ’13 game announcements (not factored into estimates), interest surrounding a more aggressive stance w/ the balance sheet and cash flow use, and anticipation ahead of the next video game console cycle, we maintain our Buy rating on the shares.”

Activision shares were down 25 cents, or -1.71%, during pre-market trading on Monday. The stock is up +15.81% over the past year.

The Bottom Line
Shares of Activision Blizzard (ATVI) have a dividend yield of 1.30% based on Friday’s closing price of $14.65 and the company’s annualized dividend payout of 19 cents per share.

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.2 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks, as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here.

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