Video Game Stocks: Key Events Investors Must Know

o 12/5 – Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) announced Call of Duty: Black Ops II achieved worldwide retail sales of $1 billion in its first 15 days, one day faster than its predecessor. However, sales for November according to NPD were down y-o-y.

o 12/6 – NPD announced November console software and hardware sales down y-o-y and below our expectations.

o 12/7 – Take-Two’s (NASDAQ:TTWO) Irrational Games announced the delay of BioShock Infinite’s release by a month to March 26, 2013.

o 12/12 – Ubisoft announced that Assassin’s Creed III, released on October 30, had become the fastest-selling game in the company’s history, with sell-through of over 7 million units worldwide a month after its release.

o 12/16 – Two days after the Sandy Hook shooting, Sen. Lieberman stated violence in entertainment culture (including video games) causes vulnerable young men to be more violent. He called for a national commission on mass violence.

o 12/19 – THQ announced that it had entered into an asset  purchase agreement with affiliates of Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. to acquire substantially all of THQ’s assets, and that it had filed for bankruptcy.

o 12/30 – According to TechCrunch, Zynga shut down or curtailed activity for 11 of its games.

Key January events:

o 1/10 (est.) – GameStop (NYSE:GME) to report holiday sales results. ⇔ GME

o 1/10 – December NPD U.S. video games sales data release.

o 1/11 – Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) to report holiday sales results. ⇓ BBY

o 1/14-18 (est.) – Majesco to report Q4:12 results.

o 1/21-25 (est.) – Nintendo to report Q3:13 results. ⇓ 7974.JP

o 1/24 – Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to report Q2:13 results.

Michael Pachter is an analyst at Wedbush Securities.

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