Activision Blizzard Downgraded To Equal Weight From Overweight At Stephens

Stephens analyst Jeff Cohen downgraded Activision Blizzard (ATVI) to Equal Weight from Overweight and lowered his price target for the shares to $52 from $57.

The video game maker closed yesterday down 16c to $43.45.

Recent reporting from Kotaku about issues in the Call of Duty pipeline have begun to make bull case for Activision shares "look like less of a certainty," Cohen tells investors in a research note. According to Kotaku, Call of Duty 2020 is in trouble and development is now being led by Treyarch.

This breaks the three developer rotation that Activision has maintained since 2011 and gives Treyarch only around two years to develop Black Ops 5, which could impact the game's quality, says Cohen.

As such, the analyst sees more risk to his 2020 upside case for the Activision Blizzard shares and does not anticipate having any additional visibility into Blizzard's pipeline until BlizzCon in November. 

Disclosure: None

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