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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Activision Blizzard, Apple, Amazon, Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive Software

CHICAGO, Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Activision Blizzard Inc. (Nasdaq:ATVI), Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL), Amazon (Nasdaq:AMZN), Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:EA) and Take-Two Interactive Software (Nasdaq:TTWO).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513

Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Activision's Skylanders Hits $1B

Activision Blizzard Inc.'s (Nasdaq:ATVI) publishing division recently announced that the Skylanders franchise has garnered $1 billion in retail sales. The company came up with the fact based on the data available from market research firm The NPD group, Gfk Chart-track and the company's internal estimates.  

Activision crossed the billion-dollar mark in just 15 months and has become the first kids IP to achieve such a milestone in such a short span. Moreover, the company sold 100 million toys as of Jan 2013.

We believe that the popularity of the Skylanders franchise lies in the novelty of the concept of bringing toys to life. Moreover, Activision's timely initiative of rolling out a mobile version of Skylanders Cloud Patrol for Apple's (Nasdaq:AAPL) iTunes App store and Amazon's (Nasdaq:AMZN) Kindle Fire also enhanced its popularity, in our view. Additionally, the company has launched the franchise's latest installment, Skylanders SWAP Force.

The success of Skylanders comes at an opportune moment for Activision. Of late, the company has tasted success with its blockbuster first person shooter (FPS) game Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, which topped the NPD's top 2012 games list.

Buoyed by the strong performance of Call of Duty and Skylanders franchise, Activision reported robust top-line growth in the last reported quarter. The company also intends to release expansion packs of these franchises' games to build on the popularity going forward.

However, the company remains cautious regarding fiscal 2013 due to the volatile macro economic environment coupled with uncertainly related to the console transition and tough year-over-year comparisons. Moreover, the company also provided a tepid outlook.

We also believe that the continued softness in the video game industry, limited presence in the mobile gaming segment, higher adoption of free-to-play games and significant competition from Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:EA) and Take-Two Interactive Software (Nasdaq:TTWO) are the major headwinds for Activision going forward. Moreover, continued investments in new products are expected to hurt margins in the near term.

Currently, Activision Blizzard has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5517

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5518.

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Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

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