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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Activision Blizzard, Take-Two Interactive and Microsemi

Zacks Equity Research

  For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – September 27, 2013 – 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 the Electronic Arts  ( EA- Free Report), Microsoft ( MSFT- Free Report), Activision Blizzard ( ATVI- Free Report), Take-Two Interactive ( TTWO- Free Report) and Microsemi Corporation ( MSCC- Free Report).
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Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

EA Launches FIFA 14 in North America

Electronic Arts’s ( EA- Free Report) much anticipated soccer game EA SPORTS FIFA 14 is now available in retail stores throughout North America. The game is expected to release worldwide later this week.

The demo version of the game has already been played by 5 million fans. It has received 32 review scores, wherein reviewers have given it a score of 9 out of 10 or higher and five perfect scores. The Xbox Magazine ( USA) gave FIFA14 the Editor’s Choice Award and went on to call it “bigger, bolder and better than its previous edition.”

This apart, EA also launched a mobile version of FIFA 14 available for free download on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and Android devices. It features new touch controls, which make it easier for players to tap the screen to select players, pass or defend, and swipe to shoot. The free downloadable version of FIFA 14is available on App Store and Google Play.

The gaming industry has witnessed some good releases over the last two months. EA’s August release Madden NFL 25 was the top-selling game in the month, pushing its other game NCAA Football 14 to the #7 place. Saints Row IV from Deep Silver claimed the #2 spot and pushed Microsoft’s ( MSFT- Free Report) Minecraft to #5. Disney Interactive’s Disney Infinity claimed the #3 position.

Further, game developers such as EA and Activision Blizzard ( ATVI- Free Report) are actively using the digital distribution platform to provide additional downloadable contents (DLCs) for popular titles such as Battlefield and Call of Duty, which we believe will be the case for FIFA 14 as well. This will further boost revenues from DLCs going forward.

Among the traditional gaming companies, we believe that EA, Activision and Take-Two Interactive ( TTWO- Free Report) have strong growth opportunities in the near term due to their strong and innovative product pipeline.

Moreover, the appointment of a new CEO, an innovative product pipeline, higher consumer spending due to the upcoming holiday season, launch of new consoles and its strength in digital gaming will drive EA’s stock going forward.

Currently, Electronic Art’s has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Microsemi’s New Handheld Screener
Microsemi Corporation ( MSCC- Free Report) recently launched the AllClear handheld screener equipped with improved and highly advanced security features. Its integrated metal detector can identify the presence of metallic objects, ceramics, plastics, liquids, gels, powders, paper and other things hidden on an individual’s body.

AllClear is the first handheld image-free screener that uses passive millimeter wave detection technology for its activities. This battery-driven device helps in detecting minor changes in naturally emitted millimeter waves due to the presence of hidden objects on the body.

There is no image generation or radiation, which enables the detection of hidden objects without revealing anatomical details. Since detection is immediate, it is possible to use in important or strategic areas, such as retail outlets, government buildings, military installations and other locations for the protection of people or property. It is easy to operate and requires minimal level of training.

Microsemi’s adjusted earnings per share in the third quarter of fiscal 2013 came in at 42 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4 cents or 10.5%. Microsemi reported revenues of $242.6 million, up 3.1% sequentially but down 6.4% year over year. For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, Microsemi expects revenues to increase 2–4%. The tax rate is likely to be 6.0%. Non-GAAP earnings per share are expected to be in the range of 51–55 cents.

Currently, Microsemi has a Zacks Rank # 3 (Hold).
Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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