Shares of Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) jumped 6.1% on Tuesday after analysts praised the Company’s beta launch of its highly-anticipated game “Call of Duty: Black Ops IV.”
Activision’s “upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops IV: Blackout, Battle Royale (BR) mode, PS4 beta launched yesterday, greatly exceeding our expectations. Buzz from streamers was sensational, in our view,” Benchmark analyst Mike Hickey said in a note Tuesday. “Popular Twitch streamers were gushing on the quality and fun of the play, while subscriber comments were calling Blackout a Fortnite and/or PUBG killer.”
Hickey reiterated his buy rating for the game publisher’s shares, predicting its the “Call of Duty” battle-royale offering will thrive against “Fortnite. The analyst said the “Call of Duty” beta generated nearly 400,000 viewers on Twitch, nearly tripling “Fortnite’s” number. He estimates the game’s battle royale mode can generate more than USD 500 Million of annual incremental sales.
“We believe Blackout will be a potentially massive hit,” he said. “We believe the game will migrate investor focus from the Fortnite led BR competitive threat to the opportunity for BR in driving meaningful growth.”
Hickey reaffirmed his USD 93 price target for Activision Blizzard shares, representing 25% upside to Monday’s close.
“Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” is slated for release on Oct. 12.