|Bid||45.57 x 2900|
|Ask||46.39 x 3200|
|Day's Range||44.81 - 45.60|
|52 Week Range||39.85 - 84.68|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.94|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||19.99|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.37 (0.81%)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
Activision Blizzard (ATVI) closed the most recent trading day at $45.14, moving -1.27% from the previous trading session.
Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues CEO Pete Vlastelica talks about the league’s efforts to translate the stick-and-ball franchise model to esports.
Which emerging industries should you be invested in? Raj Lala, President and CEO of Canadian ETF issuer Evolve ETFs, appeared on Benzinga’s PreMarket Prep Thursday morning. Among the several emerging industries the firm has funds for, Lala said he is most bullish on two: esports and cybersecurity.
Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) closed up slightly on Wednesday, gaining 0.17% on the day. Pretty calm and sedate. That was a far cry from Tuesday's performance. EA stock opened the day at $92.32 but was worth $89.55 at close, for a 3% loss. So what happened to spook EA investors?Source: Shutterstock Blame it on soccer. EA Stock Takes a Hit on Soccer LossSoccer has been making headlines in this country in recent weeks after the U.S. women's soccer team won the Women's World Cup. That was big news, but otherwise professional soccer doesn't really have the same sort of presence in the American market as other sports. Football, baseball, basketball and hockey tend to dominate.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 3 Food Stocks to Buy for Fast and Big Profits However, professional soccer is a huge, globally, and it's also a big deal for Electronic Arts.The American video game company happens to be behind the FIFA soccer franchise and it's a solid performer. As of last fall, FIFA games had sold a total of 260 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling sports game of all time.In addition, the mobile version had been installed 193 million times. With those kind of numbers, it's safe to say that soccer is a big deal for EA stock.That importance came into focus on Tuesday. Electronic Arts announced that it had lost the rights to use Juventus -- an Italian soccer club -- in the next version of its game, FIFA 20. As a result, Electronic Arts stock tumbled, losing as much as 4% on the day before recovering slightly to close down 3%.The reason for the market reaction is that Cristiano Ronaldo plays for Juventus, and Ronaldo happens to be one of the -- if not the -- most popular professional soccer players in the world.EA's next FIFA game will be missing its star player, the guy that was on the game cover for the past two versions. The timing also means that Electronic Arts will need to scramble to scrub Juventus from FIFA 20 prior to its scheduled September 27 release. Konami ScoresWhen talking about big video game companies that compete against Electronic Arts, the usual suspects are Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), Take Two (NASDAQ:TTWO) or Ubisoft. But the company that signed the Juventus deal that hit EA stock was Japan's Konami.Konami publishes a video game franchise called Pro Evolution Soccer (or PES) that competes against EA's FIFA series. But PES has never had the kind of numbers FIFA scored. Last summer, it was estimated that latest version of FIFA had been outselling its PES counterpart by close to an 18 to 1 margin.When it was announced that Konami had signed Juventus -- stealing the club from Electronic Arts -- it was headline news, especially in Europe where soccer rules and the vast majority of EA's FIFA sales are generated. Ronaldo has been on the cover of the past two FIFA games, but this year one of soccer's most recognizable stars will instead be gracing the cover of PES 2020. That's going to turn this fall's annual competition between FIFA and PES into a more interesting match.And an interesting match is not what you want if you own EA stock. The company said in a May securities filing that FIFA games represent 14% of its total net revenue. As InvestorPlace contributor James Brumley points out, Electronic Arts stock is well positioned to recover from last year's epic selloff that saw the EA stock price cut in half. * 7 Stocks Top Investors Are Buying Now However, with Juventus and Ronaldo jumping to the competition, the company is going to have to deal with a speed bump in its planned launch of FIFA 20 in the fall. As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Stocks Top Investors Are Buying Now * The 10 Best Cryptocurrencies to Keep on Your Radar * 7 Marijuana Penny Stocks That Could Triple (But You Won't Make Money) The post EA Stock Drops on Loss of Ronaldo in FIFA 20 appeared first on InvestorPlace.
The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don't use leverage) is 100% of your money. But when you pick a...
Activision Blizzard Inc NASDAQ/NGS:ATVIView full report here! Summary * Bearish sentiment is low * Economic output for the sector is expanding but at a slower rate Bearish sentimentShort interest | PositiveShort interest is extremely low for ATVI with fewer than 1% of shares on loan. This could indicate that investors who seek to profit from falling equity prices are not currently targeting ATVI. Money flowETF/Index ownership | NeutralETF activity is neutral. ETFs that hold ATVI had net inflows of $9.13 billion over the last one-month. While these are not among the highest inflows of the last year, the rate of inflow is increasing. Economic sentimentPMI by IHS Markit | NegativeAccording to the latest IHS Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) data, output in the Consumer Goods sector is rising. The rate of growth is weak relative to the trend shown over the past year, however, and is easing. Credit worthinessCredit default swapCDS data is not available for this security.Please send all inquiries related to the report to email@example.com.Charts and report PDFs will only be available for 30 days after publishing.This document has been produced for information purposes only and is not to be relied upon or as construed as investment advice. To the fullest extent permitted by law, IHS Markit disclaims any responsibility or liability, whether in contract, tort (including, without limitation, negligence), equity or otherwise, for any loss or damage arising from any reliance on or the use of this material in any way. Please view the full legal disclaimer and methodology information on pages 2-3 of the full report.
The Overwatch League, an esports league from gaming giant Blizzard Entertainment Inc., will host matches in Houston and other U.S. cities in 2020. The Houston Outlaws, the local franchise for the Overwatch League, will host at least two weekends of play in Houston, according to a July 16 press release. It will host teams from Atlanta, Florida, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. The league is close to announcing exactly when and where the matches will be played in the Houston area, John Spiher, director of partnerships for the Houston Outlaws, told the Houston Business Journal.
Shares of Zynga haven’t moved much since news of its multimillion-dollar headquarters sale. One bull says that’s about to change.
Looking for stocks to buy? Get analysis of large-cap stocks like Amazon, Alibaba and Dow Jones stocks GE and Microsoft to see if it's time to buy — or sell.
Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) has yet to make it convincingly clear it can cultivate the opportunity to its fullest. But if EA stock is to move higher again, the company requires subscriptions and streaming to jumpstart this recovery.Source: Shutterstock The game publisher already has a presence on both (and sometimes overlapping) arenas, to be fair. It has been a modest, seemingly experimental effort to date though. However, EA experienced a wake-up call last year. That was when a horrendous selloff cut the EA stock price in half. With this painful lesson still fresh, the company finally appears motivated to embrace all the new norms in video gaming. Electronic Arts Stock Pays for Missing the First BoatLong-term investors of Electronic Arts stock know the story all too well. Once a powerhouse within the gaming industry, EA lost its shine. Last year's delays in releasing its most recent Battlefield title angered gamers. Plus, the company imposed multiple micro transactions for consumers to enjoy 2017's Star Wars entry created a revolt.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 10 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 and Beyond Finally, the unexpected, disruptive success of rival game Fortnite contributed to heaping pain on top of Electronic Arts stock.A fatal shooting at a competition last year involving one of its Madden NFL games only exacerbated the doubt that suddenly surrounded the company. This tragedy contributed to driving the EA stock price from July's high near $150 to December's low of around $75.However, the game-related stumbling blocks were microcosms of bigger, more philosophical problems. The industry -- and how people consume games in particular -- has been changing. But EA hadn't fully changed with it.One of those shifts has been the democratization of game distribution. The advent of downloaded games has proven to be a mixed blessing for EA stock as well as rivals like Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Take-Two (NASDAQ:TTWO). By selling directly to consumers, publishers can bypass middlemen like GameStop (NYSE:GME) and Walmart (NYSE:WMT), retaining more profits for themselves.The very same high-speed internet connections and consoles with hard drives, though, facilitated the creation of game repositories like Steam. These technologies also sparked the rise of a countless number of indie game developers.And as it turns out, some of those independently developed games - including Fortnite -- are pretty good.Electronic Arts answered, launching EA Access in 2014, followed by a more robust subscription service called Origin Access.And with last year's release of "Project Atlas," EA hopes to set a framework for future relevancy in the gaming business. Uncanny InsightThe game-streaming and subscription business is far from fully gelled. Electronic Arts stock may have potential competition from Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) entering the fray. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is already there.However, EA is in a unique position, having learned from past failures (and successes) within the subscription business. Keep in mind they don't have a console system to lean on.EA's subscription chief, Senior Vice President Mike Blank, has demonstrated some important even if subtle savvy on this front. Last month, Blanked stated, "We need to be where the players are and not every player is going to be on every service or device, just like not every viewer is on Netflix."It's a seemingly obvious statement, but it's a realization rivals don't seem to have fully embraced.Blank further recognized that "We're evolving from a publisher of games to a connector."In other words, just because they build it doesn't mean players will come.EA has yet to fully decide if it will cultivate its own streaming/subscription service (more than it already has). A meaningless "maybe" is all Blank is willing to offer at this point. That leaves investors and gamers alike wondering exactly how monetization will occur with Project Atlas going forward.Electronic Arts knows, however, that it also needs to rethink more than just delivery. Its portfolio of games, while respectable, is aging with little innovation. A Rethink for Gaming RelevancyA subscription-based model will dramatically help on that front by supplying a steady revenue stream rather than forcing the development of nothing but blockbuster titles that sell tens of millions of copies.Blank goes on to say "The value of a subscription is ultimately, from a business standpoint, how much do players engage with the subscription. If you can provide them with new and different experiences they might stay for longer. I think we will build new and different games that will fit within the subscription itself."It wasn't a direct allusion to more indie and indie-like games. But it's noteworthy that Electronic Arts has stepped up its efforts -- in a big way -- to work with independent game developers. Last month, the company announced Zoink Games, Glowmade and Hazelight Studios will each soon see one of their games published with an EA label on it.It's a largely unprecedented pace, suggesting the organization is rethinking everything from the top down.It also aligns with recent comments from EA's VP of strategic growth Matt Bilbey. He told GameIndustry.biz earlier this month "The conversation now can flip from platform holder to game creator because they are so intertwined. The game that creators are going to make is going to evolve based on what people are consuming on." Looking Ahead for EA StockWhat Electronic Arts exactly has in mind for the new era of video games remains at least a little unclear. Indeed, it's possible that even EA doesn't precisely know where it's going, even as it moves forward.It is clear, however, that Electronic Arts has pushed itself through a pretty significant rethinking of its place in the video game industry. Also, it appears it's had some tough conversations about relevancy where subscriptions are the norm and players are growing more interested in less-touted titles. The so-called "long tail" of video game choices is getting longer and wider.It's far from an assurance that EA stock will make a full recovery in the near future. But it certainly doesn't hurt the bullish argument.As of this writing, James Brumley held a long position in EA stock. You can learn more about him at his website jamesbrumley.com, or follow him on Twitter, at @jbrumley. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Stocks to Buy for Less Than Book * 7 Marijuana Stocks With Critical Levels to Watch * The 10 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 and Beyond The post Subscriptions, Streaming Integral to the Bull Case for EA Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Activision stock is down as gamers move to mobile and even free games. Here is what the fundamentals and technical analysis say about buying ATVI stock now.
Activision Blizzard (ATVI) has been upgraded to a Zacks Rank 2 (Buy), reflecting growing optimism about the company's earnings prospects. This might drive the stock higher in the near term.
Another win for the market on Thursday, with the S&P 500 ending the session up 0.23% to finish the session at just a hair below 3,000. The volume grew once again on the third-straight daily gain, though it is still below average.Source: Shutterstock CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) ranked among the session's biggest winners, up 4.7% and 5.5%, respectively, after President Trump decided to not enact new rules that would stymie rebates on pharmaceutical purchases. At the other end of the spectrum, Merck (NYSE:MRK) led the losers on Thursday, as the President's move worried some that it could end up being pharmaceutical companies that bore the brunt of any cost-control initiatives. Merck shares ended the day down by 4.5%. * 10 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 and Beyond Headed into the final trading day of the week, though, it's HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC), Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) that merit the closest looks from traders. Here's why, and what to look for.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX)Vertex Pharmaceuticals is still technically in a long-term uptrend, guided higher by a rising support line that extends all the way back to late-2017. Although it has ebbed and flowed along the way, it has made higher highs and higher lows for some time now.The flavor of the advance changed in a fundamental way this year, however, and although it has been more erratic than not, current and prospective owners may want to note that the repeated bearish swings are taking a cumulative toll on the broad uptrend. Click to Enlarge * Chief among the changes in the timbre of the major rally is the fact that for the first time in several quarters, VRTX has logged a streak of lower highs. They're plotted in yellow on both stock charts. * The long-term support line is marked with a dashed blue line on both charts. * It's easy to look past in the wide swings we've seen since the beginning of 2018, but the most recent round of weakness has pulled the purple 50-day moving average line below the white 200-day line for the first time since mid-2018 (although that instance proved to be a great entry point). HollyFrontier (HFC)Late last month, HollyFrontier shares were able to punch through a long-standing falling resistance line, and proceed to test their 100-day moving average line, marked in gray on both stock charts. That test ultimately failed, sending HFC lower again. Shares only needed to take a small step back before renewing a much-needed running start. The second effort made a big dent on Thursday. * 7 Marijuana Stocks With Critical Levels to Watch Click to Enlarge * The resistance line in question is marked in yellow on both stock charts. In retrospect, May's steep selloff served as the capitulation the chart needed. * Although it faltered the first time when attempting to push past the moving average line (highlighted), Thursday's second attempt worked nicely. * While the volume behind the runup since May's bottom is on reasonably healthy volume, the pace hasn't been healthy. HollyFrontier isn't yet stochastically overbought, but it's getting to that point fast. Activision Blizzard (ATVI)Finally, within nothing more than a quick glance, Activision Blizzard shares merely look stuck in a trading range. And, that may well be the case. A deeper look at some of the more subtle clues, however, suggests the bulls may be working on a bigger-picture recovery of last year's oversized pullback. The inflection point is within sight too, with a massive amount of room to run if and when the last hurdle area is cleared. Click to Enlarge * The subtle hints are not just the bullish crosses of most of the moving average lines on the daily chart. Since the end of last month, the 20-, 50- and 100-day moving average lines are acting as support. * The inflection point, or final potential resistance, is the 200-day moving average line at $51, plotted in white on both stock charts. In the meantime, there's horizontal resistance around $48.80. * The weekly chart puts the potential rebound in perspective. It also better identifies the fact that we've already seen a higher low.As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can learn more about him at his website jamesbrumley.com, or follow him on Twitter, at @jbrumley. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Stocks to Buy for Less Than Book * 7 Marijuana Stocks With Critical Levels to Watch * The 10 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 and Beyond The post 3 Big Stock Charts for Friday: HollyFrontier, Activision Blizzard and Vertex Pharmaceuticals appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Take-Two Interactive Software stock fell Thursday after a brokerage firm downgraded the game publisher. The same firm also named Activision stock as its "top pick" among video game stocks.
With the second half of the year comes another busy earnings season. Although broader indices stand around the levels where they were at the end of April, May and June were volatile both for the indices and many individual stocks.I am going to discuss the short-term outlook for three stocks, namely Disney (NYSE:DIS), Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), and Boeing (NYSE:BA), and encourage our readers to do due diligence prior to their upcoming quarterly reports.All three stocks have shown robust performance in 2019, especially since early June. However, I believe there will be further volatility and some profit-taking with these names in the coming weeks. Investors may consider waiting on the sidelines if they do not currently have any positions open in DIS, EA or BA stocks.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 7 A-Rated Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 Alternatively, if they already own shares, investors may either consider taking some money off the table during this market bounce or hedging their positions. As for hedging strategies, covered calls or put spreads with Aug. 16 expiry could be appropriate. Straight put purchases could be expensive due to heightened volatility. Any short-term decline in these shares may offer better entry points for long-term investors. Disney (DIS)Source: Baron Valium via FlickrDisney stock is expected to report earnings on August 6. Wall Street will want to see whether the group's diversified revenue streams remain robust for the second half of 2019.Four segments generate Disney's revenue: * Media Networks (such as ABC and ESPN; 41% of revenue) * Parks & Resorts (such as Disneyland and cruise lines; 34% of revenue) * Studio Entertainment (including Lucasfilm and Marvel; 17% of revenue) * Consumer Products & Interactive Media (including Disney Store and ESPN+; 8% of revenue)On May 8, the company reported earnings for its second fiscal quarter. It logged revenues of $14.9 billion on earnings per share of $1.61 and beat analysts' estimates on both the top and bottom line.Results from Disney's operating segments varied. CEO Bob Iger highlighted higher affiliate revenues from ESPN, as well as the popularity of its domestic theme parks. DIS also said that it would be repositioning itself towards direct-to-consumer services.Shareholders would like to see another strong quarter when Disney reports earnings in a few weeks. Meanwhile, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) earnings are expected on July 17. Wall Street's reaction to NFLX stock's earnings may also affect the share price of DIS stock in the second half of July.In 2019, DIS stock is up 31% year-to-date. Let us briefly remember how the stock has traded since early April: On Apr. 11, prior to Disney's investor day presentation, the share price closed at $116.60. The next morning, DIS stock gapped up to open at $127.91. Then, on April 29, DIS stock reached what was then an all-time high of $142.37.In early May, Disney stock gave back some of its April gains, mirroring the stock market's volatility. On May 31, the stock saw $130.78. June has once again been good to shareholders, as the stock reached an all-time high of $145.51 on June 18.However, it may now be appropriate for current investors to take some of their impressive paper profits in Disney shares. In the next several weeks, I expect DIS stock to be volatile and its price to decline toward the $130 level, possibly until the company's next quarterly report. Electronic Arts (EA)Source: Shutterstock As a leader in the competitive video game industry, Electronic Arts develops and distributes esports games. Several of its well-known franchises include Madden, FIFA, and Battlefield.The group is expected to report earnings on July 30, when Wall Street will be able to gauge the financial health of the company. EA is one of the largest gaming companies globally in terms of revenue and market cap. The group has two key sources of revenues: * Products (i.e., digital or physical sale of games and additional content); and, * Services (i.e., recurring revenue sources such as subscription-based models and in-game transactions)On May 7, the video game publisher reported fiscal 2019 fourth-quarter financial results. Analysts were not impressed with the fact that sales and profits have been dented by intense competition from rival game makers.In-game transactions which include "microtransactions" (such as new player skins or weapons) and "loot boxes" (whose contents players do not know prior to purchase) are lucrative yet somewhat controversial sources of revenue. Indeed, many gamers resent the idea of spending more money on games they already bought. Electronic Arts stock took a hit after some backlash from its microtransaction business practices.In 2013, EA stock was trading at just over $10. Over the next few years, it became a darling among long-term investors. Then Electronic Arts stock had a rough second half of the year in 2018. In 2019, although EA stock is up 17%, it has been a roller coaster ride. Similarly, the stock price of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), one of EA's main competitors, has also suffered over the past year, mostly due to the competitive headwinds in the industry.EA stock's 52-week price range has been between $151.26 (July 13, 2018) and $73.91 (Dec. 26, 2018). Despite the price strength this year, I don't think long-term investors should rush to buy into the shares just yet. While I would not bet against EA stock's future, I expect to see further volatility and possible price weakness toward $90 in July. * 7 Retail Stocks to Buy That Are Down in 2019 Most investors are likely to wait on the sidelines until they have a chance to analyze EA's balance sheet to see if the shares might be somewhat overvalued. They will also want to see if there is any growth fatigue or major trend changes in the industry. In an industry that offers both free-to-play titles and full-price games, investors do not yet know what the right mix of business models for Electronic Arts will be. Boeing (BA)Source: Phillip Capper via FlickrAs the manufacturer of commercial and defense products, Boeing is one of the most important names in many portfolios.Boeing, along with its main competitor Airbus (OTCMKTS:EADSY), are the world's two largest commercial aerospace manufacturers.However, Boeing stock price has been falling since early March, when Ethiopian Airlines suffered a fatal accident involving a Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft. The March 10 crash was, unfortunately, the second deadly incident of the same model plane, one of Boeing's most popular, in less than six months.Following the tragedy, countries closed their airspace to Boeing's 737 Max 8 one by one, until finally the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also grounded the top-selling jets. It's likely that the grounding may continue for several more months.The present concern regarding the safety of Boeing's 737 Max planes offers plenty of questions. Later in the year, if Boeing is found to be at fault regarding pilot training or if the company cannot fix the hardware problems completely, BA stock may suffer further.Boeing also needs to rebuild customer confidence. In other words, this disaster has raised serious questions about the the company's design of these high-tech airplanes and the corporate actions -- or lack thereof -- after the crashes.The on-going U.S.-China trade war worries have also added to the stock price decline of BA. The company has become one of the proxy names for the conflict. Over the past decade, the growth of China's airline industry has created a massive export market for Boeing. In fiscal year 2018 alone, Boeing generated about $13.7 billion in revenue from world's second-largest economy.So what should investors think about BA shares right now? Long term, I would not bet against Boeing. Despite the problems, year-to-date BA stock is still up almost 11%.Eventually the U.S. and China will come to a mutually beneficial trade agreement. And Boeing is likely to make its planes safer and gain consumer trust again. Sometime in 2020, its best-selling jet will probably return to the skies.During the Paris Air Show that took place in June, Boeing secured an order for 200 737 Max jets from the British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines Group (OTCMKTS:ICAGY). Although the full amount of the order is not yet known, it is suspected that BA offered a big discount to ICAGY. This purchase intent is not only a show of confidence in BA's grounded planes, it is also a signal to shareholders that 2020 is likely to be a better year for the group.Short-term, though, things could be choppy and somewhat of a mixed bag. A couple of sour trade headlines or Boeing 737 Max-related news in the next few weeks could drive BA stock further down.Eventually, Boeing will have to foot the bill for the losses incurred by many airlines due to cancelled flights. On July 3, management also announced a compensation scheme for the survivors of the fatal crashes.I'd say hold off investing in Boeing shares until the release of the full crash reports as well as BA's next quarterly statement on July 24 to re-evaluate the financial impact of the crashes and the trade wars on the balance sheet.At the time of writing, the author did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 A-Rated Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 * 7 Education Stocks to Buy for the Future of Academia * 5 Stocks to Buy as You Rebalance Your Portfolio The post 3 Stocks You May Want to Take Profits In Before Earnings appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Activision announced today that "Operation: Apocalypse Z," a multiplayer-centric content pack that will conjure up game mode similar to the classic Zombies maps of previous games, will be coming to PlayStation 4 on July 9th. According to Activision, Apocalypse Z will introduce several new maps and game modes that will feature zombie content. While Apocalypse Z should keep gamers killing zombies for quite some time, it's worth noting that some of the multiplayer maps -- including the latest addition to the Zombies storyline -- requires Black Ops Pass.
Welcome to the latest episode of the Full-Court Finance podcast from Zacks Investment Research where Associate Stock Strategist Ben Rains dives into the latest news from the world of legalized sports gambling and esports.
Editor's note: This story was previously published in March 2019. It has since been updated and republished.One of the most popular investment strategies is to focus on fast-charging growth companies. The appeal, of course, is that you can get in on the ground floor of a paradigm-shifting industry. But remember the adage cash is king. The most dependable stocks to buy are usually what people call "cash cows."Source: Shutterstock While no one will criticize sharply rising growth metrics, cash flow represents a business' lifeblood. A weakened cash position can lead to severe problems further down the road, even with strong growth. No matter how viable an organization, it must find a way to keep the lights on. That's why some of the best investments also feature consistent free cash flow.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsAnother reason to look at a company's money outflows as opposed to strictly its income statement is flexibility. Simply put, well-financed operations have more options. They can choose to put money to work through key investments, or to expand operations. * 7 A-Rated Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 And if the worst happens, and the underlying industry hits a recession, cash cows can better weather the storm. Because of this dynamic, you'll want to at least peek at the cash flow statement for your target investments.Below are the eight best cash cow stocks to buy now: McDonald's (MCD)I'm going to make a confession straight off the bat. I don't understand why people eat at McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), particularly those who do so regularly. Admittedly, they make great coffee and their French fries are to die for, but the rest of it? Not quite so appetizing.Source: Shutterstock Nevertheless, I don't need to understand a phenomenon to recognize that it's working. Moreover, those who are looking primarily for reliable stocks to invest in should seriously consider MCD stock.Last year, the iconic fast-food company generated nearly $5.6 billion in cash flow from operations. In their most recent quarter, MCD produced $4.96 billion in earnings, up over 12.15 million over estimates.Additionally, McDonald's enjoys consistent FCF every year, offering invaluable confidence in a rising, but unpredictable market. Plus, MCD pays out a 2.20% dividend yield, which management should have no problems sustaining. Aflac (AFL)We often say that there are two guarantees in life: death and taxes. In reality, we should add a third, which is random events that conspire to ruin your day. Whether it's a massive accident or a debilitating illness, stuff happens. When it does, Aflac's (NYSE:AFL) insurance products can help you or your family recover financially.Source: Shutterstock It's amazing how much a relatively common occurrence, such as a broken leg, can add up to serious out-of-pocket expenses. Just for the consistent demand, AFL should be on most people's list of stocks to buy. And as you might expect, Aflac enjoys robust cash flows from operations. * 7 Retail Stocks to Buy That Are Down in 2019 AFL is one of those conservative stocks to buy that have performed well in the markets. On a year-to-date basis, shares are up nearly 24.8%. Better yet, Aflac pays out a 1.9% dividend yield. Steady growth and passive income? AFL is too good to ignore. Paychex (PAYX)If you're asked to come down to the human resources department, chances are, it's for unpleasant reasons. Nevertheless, HR plays a crucial role as it deals directly with a company's most valuable asset: people. You can never go wrong with experts in this field, which is why Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) is a consistent winner.Source: Shutterstock But another factor boosting PAYX is their product flexibility. Despite their big-name brand, they offer scaled solutions for virtually any organization. From tiny businesses with a lone employee to major, multinational firms, PAYX can tailor-fit an effective, efficient platform. That will come in handy over the next few years as new businesses focus on agility rather than brute size.As you might expect, Paychex features a healthy balance between growth and cash flows; PAYX is up 84% year-over-year. Activision Blizzard (ATVI)The video game sector offers some of the best stocks to invest in. Thanks to gaming culture and tournaments going mainstream, this is an industry that will perpetually rise higher. Over the longer-term, this presents a viable tailwind for Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI).Source: Shutterstock Admittedly, though, the ride in ATVI hasn't been an easy one. While its YTD performance is pretty much flat, shares have gyrated severely multiple times. Investors have an understandable concern that they're buying into ATVI near at or near its highs. Moreover, Activision has suffered significant competition; namely, Epic Games' "Fortnite." * 10 Stocks That Should Be Every Young Investor's First Choice Still, I'm not worried. In terms of first-person shooting games, ATVI is still the king. Its "Call of Duty" series is legitimately a cash cow. Furthermore, Activision's financials have consistently demonstrated rising cash flow from operations. That might take a hit this year due to the competitive environment.However, don't count out ATVI. Not only can Activision leverage its own strengths in shooter games, "Fortnite" mania may be peaking. Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL)Out of all the cash cow stocks to buy, Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) stands alone. One of the chief reasons why is due to the company's prevalence across multiple lucrative markets. From laptops to cloud computing to driverless-vehicle technology, GOOG disrupts any sector it wishes.Source: Shutterstock \ But the biggest reason I like Alphabet is that it dominates the internet. I realize that it's a tired argument because everybody has mentioned it. That doesn't mean, though, that the argument is any less valid.For instance, we all know that Google is the most popular search engine, but the gap between first place and second-ranked Bing is a whopping 66%!Moreover, Google is the unquestioned leader of mobile and tablet search engines with a 93% market share. In order to get anything done online, you essentially must go through Alphabet. And if your company doesn't rank well on Google, you're dead in the water. Philip Morris International (PM)On the surface, it appears big tobacco firms like Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) face a double-whammy.Source: Taber Andrew Bain Via FlickrFirst, Americans are smoking cigarettes at a significantly reduced rate. Also, the under-18 crowd isn't taking up the habit like prior generations had. Second, the vaping market has exploded in popularity thanks to its cleaner platform.I don't think it's over for Philip Morris. For one thing, several markets, including the eastern Mediterranean and Africa, have witnessed a lift in smoking rates. That, of course, suits PM perfectly, which is the international arm of the iconic tobacco firm. PM stock has resurged this year. On a YTD basis, shares have gained nearly 20%. * 7 F-Rated Stocks to Sell for Summer Second, PM is intently focused on IQOS, which is a type of vaporizer. What makes IQOS distinct from the vaping competition is authenticity. PM understands the nuances that smokers are looking for, and they seek to replicate that experience in a digital platform.Best of all, Philip Morris is a cash-rich organization. That provides substantial confidence in the company's generous 5.69% dividend yield. Gilead Sciences (GILD)Thanks to an unpredictable political environment, and an extremely-competitive atmosphere, several pharmaceuticals have underperformed this year. Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) is no exception, with GILD shares having gained only a little more than 8% YTD under choppy conditions.Source: Shutterstock But in the long run, I don't expect this pressured situation to continue. Recently, Gilead announced positive results from a late-stage clinical trial of a rheumatoid arthritis drug. Additionally, management is looking forward to developing iterations of its HIV drug, Biktarvy. GILD could develop an injectable version of Biktarvy for patients who are resistant to the drug.If nothing else, GILD belongs on your list of stocks to buy thanks to its cash position. Even under a challenging environment, Gilead managed nearly $12 billion in operating cash flow last year. The company is more than stable enough to continue supporting its dividend yield, which currently stands at 3.68%. BCE (BCE)As Canada's biggest communications firm, BCE (NYSE:BCE) essentially has a moat. In this day and age, no one can survive without internet access. As such, BCE leverages extensive broadband and wireless networks that have a value north of $4 billion. The company's broadband footprint extends out to 9.2 million locations, and it offers LTE wireless coverage for almost every Canadian.Source: Shutterstock These impressive stats finally have started to translate into market success. So far this year, BCE shares are up more than 16%. * The 7 Top Small-Cap Stocks Of 2019 Shares have grown slowly and steadily since the beginning of the year, suggesting the worst of the volatility is behind it. Second, BCE's revenues have steadily increased over the past three years, and we're on pace for a fourth. Finally, BCE offers a generous 5.15% dividend yield, which the company can support.Last year, the telecom firm had $5.8 billion in operating cash flow, and $2.6 billion FCF. Unless Canadians suddenly stop using the internet, you can trust BCE.As of this writing, Josh Enomoto did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Retail Stocks to Buy That Are Down in 2019 * 7 of the Best SPDR ETFs -- Besides SPY and GLD * 5 Dividend Stocks to Buy From Across the Globe The post The 8 Best Cash Cow Stocks to Buy for Stable Returns appeared first on InvestorPlace.