A MoffettNathanson analyst upgraded Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) to Outperform from Market Perform.
The activist’s $95 per share price target on ATVI stock reflects Microsoft’s $95 cash offer. The analyst sees “strong rationale” for why Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) should be able to close the acquisition.
“No, we don’t think the timing of resolution is necessarily imminent. But it’s not wrong to suggest that the Microsoft-Activision deal is entering its final stage,” the analyst told clients in a note.
The analyst doesn’t see “much political heat from Washington” as far as this M&A is concerned.
“We continue to believe that the deal should be approved. It’s difficult for us to see how the transaction could inexorably alter the competitive landscape in the video game market. Sure, Call of Duty is an important console video game. Would it be enough, even if it were transformed into an Xbox exclusive, to allow Microsoft to steamroll Sony (not rated) and Nintendo (not rated)? And to such a degree as to allow it to squeeze smaller publishers and gamers alike? Highly doubtful, in our view,” the analyst added.
Finally, the analyst says that buying ATVI stock at these levels is “an uncorrelated return opportunity that we find increasingly compelling.”