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Nomura Sees Opportunities For Video Game Publishers In Mobile, Broadband Growth

Dave Royse

The interactive gaming industry is poised for continued growth as it moves from static purchases or rentals of games to an online model — and as broadband internet becomes faster and more widely available, Nomura Instinet said in an initiation of two gaming players.

The Analyst

Andrew Marok initiated coverage of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) with a Buy rating and $120 price target.

Marok started coverage of Activision Blizzard, Inc., (NASDAQ: ATVI) with a Neutral rating and $49 price target.

The Thesis 

The gaming sector is attractive overall, with a market that could expand to reach $200 billion in five years, Marok said in a Wednesday note. Much of that growth is expected to be concentrated in the mobile segment, he said. 

The global video gaming market generates more than $130 billion in revenue annually across mobile, PC and console formats, the analyst said. 

The industry should see an expansion of the potential base of players fueled by increasing broadband penetration, Marok said. But the industry is also finding ways to boost players’ engagement with games over time, he said. 

“Far removed from the days of one-time static purchases, games today are often based on a service model that allows for post-launch updates and content releases,” the analyst said. 

“In addition, gaming content is increasingly delivered digitally. Both factors are individually favorable to margins (post-launch content often does not require the same development outlay as formal launches), and the combination creates a notable tailwind for the industry.”

E-sports, Cloud Opportunities 

Marok named the following potential industry catalysts in the initiation note: 

  • E-sports, a category he said is in the proof-of-concept stage and is likely to grow.
  • Cloud gaming, which the analyst said has the potential to broaden the accessibility of games.

Electronic Arts and Activision are both poised as industry leaders to benefit from broader, favorable industry trends, he said. 

Nomura favors Electronic Arts over Activision at this point due to the companies' upcoming release schedules, with Activision lagging Electronic Arts slightly on this front, the analyst said. 

Price Action

Electronic Arts shares were down 0.7 percent at $38.50 at the time of publication Thursday, while Activision shares were down 1.17 percent at $44. 

Related Links:

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Photo courtesy of Electronic Arts. 

Latest Ratings for EA

Date Firm Action From To
Jun 2019 Initiates Coverage On Buy
May 2019 Maintains Buy
May 2019 Reiterates Buy

View More Analyst Ratings for EA
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