What to Expect When Activision Blizzard Reports After the Close

Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) is scheduled to release its fourth-quarter financial results after the markets close on Tuesday. Thomson Reuters consensus estimates are calling for $1.28 in earnings per share (EPS) and $3.04 billion in revenue. In the same period of last year, the video game maker had $0.94 in EPS and $2.64 billion in revenue.

A recent Bloomberg report said that Activision Blizzard is poised for layoffs that “could number in the hundreds.” The layoffs would be part of a restructuring effort as the company faces sluggish sales, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

Perhaps a big contributor to these video game stocks facing poor results is the up-and-coming video game Fortnite, which has been a smash hit with video gamers across the world and across all platforms.

Back in January, Activision’s stock dropped after it announced a split from game studio Bungie, which created the popular Destiny game franchise and the Halo franchise before that.

This round of layoffs could be in relation to splitting with the Destiny franchise. Activision had employed “an entire team full of Destiny support staff” across functions such as public relations, marketing and social media, according to a report by gaming news site Kotaku.

Excluding Tuesday’s move, Activision Blizzard had underperformed the broad markets, with its stock down about 14% year to date. In the past 52 weeks, the stock was down 39%.

A few analysts weighed in on Activision Blizzard ahead of the results:

  • Credit Suisse has a Buy rating with a $70 price target.
  • Goldman Sachs has a Neutral rating with a $50 target.
  • Oppenheimer has a Market Perform rating.
  • Stifel has a Buy rating with a $57 target price.
  • Morgan Stanley has an Overweight rating and a $72 target.
  • Wedbush’s Outperform rating comes with a $64 price target.

Shares of Activision Blizzard were last seen up about 3% at $41.39 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $39.85 to $84.68. The consensus price target is $60.54.

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