Video game stock performance in the two months heading into the holidays has given investors about an even shot at gains and losses over the last decade, historical price data show.
Unless you include Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT).
When looking at six video game stocks’ performance during October and November each year since 2009, Microsoft (which also makes plenty of other consumer goods that holiday shoppers buy) skews the data quite a bit.
Shares of Microsoft have gone up during the two-month period in eight out of the last 10 years.
The other five video game stocks aren’t as sure of a play in the fall. Stocks in the sector fell during the two months slightly more often than they rose.
In addition to Microsoft, the stocks examined for October and November price trends were:
- Activision Blizzard Inc (NASDAQ: ATVI)
- Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ: TTWO)
- Electronic Arts Inc (NASDAQ: EA)
- Sony Corp (NYSE: SNE)
- Nintendo Ltd (OTC: NTDOY)
Except for Microsoft, most showed little in the way of notable October-November trend lines – likely going up or down during the period based on specific game release news or earnings performance.
For example, Sony shares rose during the two-month period four times, in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2017, and fell six times: last year, and in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016.
Some have been more consistent. For EA, the last several years have meant falling stock prices in October and November, including a big drop last year when its shares went from about $121 at the beginning of October to just over $84 at the start of December. Its shares fell the two years before that, and were roughly flat in 2015.
Similarly, Activision Blizzard has tended to fall in October and November in recent years. It also dropped precipitously last year, going from above $84 to just under $50 at the beginning of December. It’s stock price has gone down for three straight years during October and November and was roughly flat in five out of the seven years before that.
Rough 2018 Autumn
Last year’s October-November period was tough for several industry players. Take-Two saw its shares go down about 20% during the period after four straight years of October-November gains.
Last year also got Microsoft. Its shares dropped about 3.3% in October and November, the first time its stock was cheaper in December than in September since 2012.
Here’s a look at each company’s performance over the last 10 years, comparing its price at the beginning of October to the first trading day in December:
- Microsoft: Higher 8 years; Lower 2 years
- Take-Two: Higher 5, Lower 3, Roughly Flat 2
- Nintendo: Higher 5, Lower 3, Roughly Flat 2
- Activision Blizzard: Higher 2, Lower 3, Roughly Flat 5
- Sony: Higher 4, Lower 6
- EA: Higher 3, Lower 6, Roughly Flat: 1
- All six companies: Higher 27, Lower 23, Roughly Flat 10
- Without Microsoft: Higher 19, Lower 21, Roughly Flat 10
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