Activision Blizzard stock just reached a 37-year high, exceeding $95 per share ($95.08, to be exact). The Wall Street Journal reports that it is “trading at levels not seen since 1984.” The publisher is set to report its Q4 2020 earnings next month, causing firm MKM Partners to increase its forecast and price target for the company to $105.
— Sarah E. Needleman (@saraheneedleman) January 20, 2021
Activision Blizzard’s earnings have no doubt been bolstered by the pandemic, which has pushed more and more people inside to play games. The publisher puts out the gaming industry’s top-selling franchise in Call of Duty, a series that took the number 1 and 2 spots for the overall sales charts by dollar in 2020. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War became 2020’s best-selling game with less than two months on the market. 2019’s Modern Warfare took slot number 2, driven by conversions from the free-to-play Warzone, which has exceeded 75 million players.
The release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 may have helped to increase revenue. The game slipped onto the NPD best-seller charts for the year at number 20, a monumental feat for a remake of the classic Tony Hawk games.
Activision Blizzard also nets billions just in microtransactions within its games, and a big shift to a Battle Pass/Premium Cosmetics model for Modern Warfare/Warzone/Black Ops Cold War has continued to drive that trend upwards. It’s expected that a focus on connecting further integrating Warzone into Black Ops Cold War, including a new map and additional free content for both games throughout 2021, will see both games continue to do very well in the space and be top earners for Activision Blizzard.
Activision Blizzard’s Q4 earnings call will take place on February 4th, where we’ll learn more about exactly how well Black Ops Cold War and Warzone performed in the latter portion of last year. GameStop reports that Activision Blizzard’s stock has generally risen over the last 10 years, save for a few slips in 2018 and 2019. It owns and operates numerous divisions, including everything under Blizzard and Candy Crush developer King. Activision Blizzard could see another surge soon thanks to the expected release of Overwatch 2, first announced back in 2019, at some point within the next couple of years.