1. Activision released the highly anticipated game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and racked up $310 million in sales from the United States and United Kingdom over a 24 hour period. To put this in perspective the blockbuster Batman movie Dark Knight brought in $155 million during its opening weekend. COD is still selling strong going in 2010. "And finally, this holiday, as alluded earlier, we plan to release a new Call of Duty game. We expect that the global Call of Duty user base will continue to grow driven by expected high attach rates, new sales of hardware and new downloadable map packs, which should continue to keep current players engaged while also attracting new consumers to the brand. The Call of Duty brand has never been stronger. We believe 2010 will be another big and exciting year for the franchise."
2. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm for the World of Warcraft is expected to be released in 2010, bringing two new playable races to the 11.5 million active users who pay every month (or by the hour in China) to continue playing World of Warcraft.
3. The Chinese government just approved NETease to run one of the expansion packs for WOW in China to offer players even more content and feed their addiction. This will help grow their subscriptions in this region of the world.
4. More than a decade after the release of the original Starcraft, millions of people are still playing it on Blizzard's online service called Battlenet. Starcraft2 will be split into 3 games called "StarCraft II Terrans: Wings of Liberty", "StarCraft II Zerg: Heart of the Swarm" and "StarCraft II Protoss: Legacy of the Void". Given that WOW: Wrath of Lich King sold 2.8 million copies in the first 24 hours after its release and went on to become the best selling game in PC history in 2008, sales of these three titles will be impressive as well.
5. With the increase in mobile gaming both from regular devices like the Nintendo DS and smartphones like the iPhone, Activision gains additional distribution channels for its content. "On November 20th, we released Call of Duty World at War Zombies for the iPhone, which is one of the top grossing apps worldwide. And recently, we released a light demo version of the game, which was downloaded more than one million times in just seven days." There are also more maps and contents being released and sold individually for players looking for more content.
6. Just last year the company repurchased nearly a billion dollars of its own stock. In the most recent quarter the company announced another buy back of a billion dollars for the rest of this year. This decreases the number of shares available and increases EPS going forward.
7. The company just announced that they will start paying a dividend. The first in the company's history. Management would not be doing this if future earnings could not support this. From the Q4 call: "Given our strong cash position and expected future cash flow generation we are pleased to further enhance shareholder return with both the buyback and the cash dividend. As you know, creating shareholder value has always been a top priority for the company and we continue to lead the industry in executing against that goal"
8. Management is proactive and is still streamlining operations. They recently announced more layoffs to divisions such as "Guitar Hero" which are showing some signs of saturation. They will be downsizing the less profitable divisions and redeploying capital to divisions showing earnings growth.
9. Blizzard is working on the next installment of Diablo which is scheduled to be released in 2011. Anyone who played this game knows that this will be a Blockbuster when it is released.
10. This company has no debt!!!
I could come up with 10 more but I'm getting tired.....read this sissy, dontgivemenobearlip, lighthouserocker, detlab200 and weep.......
it seems like we desperately need an upgrade from an analyst.. where are those analysts from goldman and the other guy who said this is $38 stock back in 2007 or 2008 was it?
My wishful thinking is that big boys have held it down for options.. because the put to call ratio was .02.. too many calls.. now that it is over and the results were good..
if grass roots investors figure out that SCII meets expectations, atvi will crawl upwards..
I am hoping that big investors will realize atvi value.. and start loading up. They need time to load up.. once they are done loading up, they will pay some people to "release news and upgrades"..
sorry for stating the obvious! Please don't go "duh" on me! he he