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ANALYSIS: Is This $36B Video Game Stock A Good Investment Right Now?

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Investing in stocks is tricky. But what if you get a stock that has been pummelled over the course of this year and still remains a market favorite? You would want to get in.

Leading gaming company Activision Blizzard [ATVI] is one such company. Shares are down 26% in 2018. Stocks of major gaming companies have also depreciated considerably this year. Electronic Arts (EA) has slipped 20% this year while Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) is down over 3%.

The largest gaming company in the world (Tencent [TCEHY]) has lost almost a quarter of its market value (amounting to a whopping $125B) year to date.

These gaming companies have had a stellar run over the last few years. This market correction has been long overdue and shares are now trading at conservative multiples.

Activision Blizzard shares are trading at $46.52 a share which is 45% below its 52-week high of $84.68. Since the start of October, shares have declined over 44%. With a relative strength index of 27, Activision Blizzard shares are trading well into oversold territory.

The share is trading just above its 52-week low. Activision shares were at these levels way back in February 2017. The stock has grossly underperformed broader markets and burnt significant investor wealth. However, this pullback in shares provides investors with an opportunity to enter the stock.

So why do you need to invest in the stock? The fundamentals are strong. Activision Blizzard has significant upside potential with robust earnings growth driven by expanding profit margins. Let’s have a look at each of these metrics.

Activision Blizzard has bottomed out

Activision Blizzard shares were impacted by the mind-boggling success of Fortnite. Activision’s latest “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” title generated $500 million in the first weekend of its launch. While this is mighty impressive, the “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2” saw sales of $500 million in the first 24 hours since its launch.

Investors and analysts were expecting a similar response and were left disappointed. It also reported a fall in monthly active users (or MAUs) from 384 million in Q3 2017 to 352 million in Q3 2018. All of these factors sent the stock spiraling downwards.

It certainly seems that Activision Blizzard shares have bottomed out and are set to take off on their next bull run. All the recent events have been priced in that has led to this massive decline. So what will drive the stock upwards?

Activision Blizzard is one of the premier gaming companies with a market cap of $35.5 billion. Yes, there are other companies such as Electronic Arts (EA) and Take-Two Interactive [TTWO] that are direct competitors, but with a solid portfolio of franchises, Activision Blizzard can easily hold its own.

Despite the recent pullback, Activision Blizzard has created significant value over the years. It has risen 173% in the last five years and 400% in the last ten.

Strong gaming portfolio

The company has time and again released blockbuster franchises over the years. Though “Call of Duty” is Activision’s flagship franchise, it has other vastly popular games such as “World of Warcraft,” “Star Craft,” “Destiny Overwatch,” and “Hearthstone.” Yes, the recent “Call of Duty” game was not as well received as expected, but $500 million sales in three days is still mind-blowing.

Activision also acquired King Digital way back in 2015 for $5.9 billion to enter the digital and mobile gaming space. King Digital’s portfolio includes “Candy Crush,” “Bubble Witch” and “Farm Heroes.” The move into digital has resulted in a stable stream of recurring revenue for the firm.

Despite the fall in monthly active users, Activision Blizzard stated that the average user still spent 52 minutes gaming daily — an all-time high. It also has seven of the top 20 most viewed games on the industry’s largest streaming platform.

In-game purchases crossed $1 billion in sales for the third consecutive quarter.

The strategic shift toward eSports

Activision Blizzard has also been one of the first movers into the high growth eSports vertical. “Overwatch” found major success, and Activision Blizzard signed multi-million dollar deals with broadcasting partners such as Amazon’s [AMZN] Twitch.

It has now added six new teams bringing the total number of teams to 18. The eSports industry is still at a nascent stage and will be growing at double digits over the next few years.

The eSports industry has opened up opportunities in verticals such as advertising and licensing as well.

High growth industry

The global games industry is a high growth one and is estimated to rise from $138 billion in 2018 to $180 billion by the end of 2021. The mobile gaming market will lead growth and rise from $70 billion to $106 billion in the forecast period.

It’s very likely that King Digital’s mobile portfolio will lead this growth, gain traction and expand revenue over time.

So what’s next?

Activision’s revenue has risen from $6.6 billion in 2016 to $7.15 billion in 2017. Analysts expect sales to rise by 4.4% to $7.47 billion in 2018, 3% to $7.7 billion in 2019 and 8.9% to $8.37 billion in 2020.

The shift towards digital gaming has massively driven profit margins for Activision Blizzard upwards. The operating margin for gaming firms is similar to those of traditional software companies.

Here’s what the experts say

With the recent price drop, institutional investors hold 93% in ATVI stock. Out of the 27 analysts tracking Activision Blizzard, 20 recommend a “buy” while seven recommend a “hold.” There is not a single “sell” recommendation.

The analysts have a low target price of $56 while the high target price is $93. The 12-month average target price stands at $73.69, indicating an upside potential of 58.4% from current levels.

Institutional investors are betting on Activision Blizzard. And you should too.

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Early Uber Investor: ‘I’m Happy With Uber’s Poor IPO’

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Lance Armstrong may not have gotten his $3B on his $100K investment, but his $100K still got a proper HGH/steroid boost.

And despite the rough outing, early investor Mitchell Green says he’s happy with the current IPO price—despite falling WAY south of its initially rumored $120B level.

And no, it’s not the Mitch Green, the one who got into a street fight with Mike Tyson.

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Uber rich Mitch Green looks like this:

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Anyway. Green says he’s happy with the current pricing. Check out the video to see why.

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‘Going Public’: IPO, Explained

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It’s a buzzword we hear constantly—and one that’s sure to generate tons of headlines. Alibaba had the largest in history (before its billionaire founder decided he wanted to quit to be a grade school teacher.)

Lyft IPO’d recently also, beating arch rival Uber to the proverbial punch.

Other than being a buzzword and a big story, what exactly is an IPO?! Well, let’s break it down.

What is an IPO?!

In technical terms, an Initial Public Offering (IPO) is the first sale of stock issued by a company to the public. In other words, this is the moment when a private company goes “public” by offering its shares for sale to the public.

So when a company does go public, the valuation usually spikes dramatically—and the company can now use the funds from the sale of shares to feed the business. It’s a fabulous funding source for a company.

Before that, what is a company?

Prior to going public, a company is a privately-owned firm. Obviously. The company initially attracts investments or seed capital from the co-founder, friends, and families.

Business investors such as venture capitalists, private equity companies and angel investors pump in money if they are optimistic about long-term prospects and sustainability of the company.

On the flip side of things, you sometimes have companies that decide to go “private,” like Elon Musk said he wanted to do with Tesla. 

Why does a company opt for an IPO?

The biggest advantage for a publicly listed company is access to capital. This capital can be used to purchase machinery, fund research and development or pay off any existing debt.

The firm will then be listed on a public exchange and provides an exit route for business investors and founders.

When Facebook went public, Mark Zuckerberg sold 30M shares worth $1.1B. An IPO is the most common way for investors and VCs to make a significant return on their investment. In fact, it’s considered the ultimate exit for founders.

How much capital do the companies get?

Let’s run down the list.

Alibaba [BABA] raised $25B in an IPO back in Sept. 2014. Facebook [FB] raised $16B in May 2012. Visa [V] raised $7.9B in March 2008.

Top tech unicorns such as Uber, Slack, and Airbnb are on course to file for an IPO over the next 18 months.

The company that is looking to go public hires an investment bank to underwriting the IPO process. Investment banks can either work together or individually in this process.

What do the investment bankers do?

In other words, all the boring admin stuff. In exchange for this, they collect a nice fat fee, usually anywhere from 4-7% of gross proceeds.

Those involved hold several meetings to finalize the IPO process and determine the timing of the filing. Once this is wrapped up, they shift to performing the due diligence to ensure the company’s registration statements are accurate.

The due diligence tasks include market due diligence, legal and IP due diligence, financial and tax due diligence. At the end of this process, the companies then file for an S-1 Registration Statement.

The S-1 is usually what tips off the press and the public that a company is about to go, well, public.

And what’s the S-1?

The S-1 statement includes information about the companies’ historical financial statements, company overview, risk factors, and other critical data.

A pre-IPO analyst meeting is then held post the S-1 Registration Statement to educate analysts and bankers about the company.

Confused yet?

A preliminary prospectus can also be drafted at this stage. The underwriting investment bank conducts pre-marketing to determine the interest of institutional investors and the price they are willing to pay per share.

Now you’re ready to go public

The price range for an IPO is set and the S-1 Registration Statement is amended with the price range.  The company’s management organizes road shows and marketing activities to generate interest for the upcoming IPO.

Based on investor interest, the price range per share can be revised. The investors will apply for company shares and this application window is open for generally 2-4 days. The company shares can be oversubscribed or undersubscribed.

Once the IPO is priced, the investment banks will allocate shares to investors where the stock will now be available for trading in the secondary market.

At this point, a company is now ready to go public. Here’s how people usually look when that happens.

Image result for snap IPO

SNAP executives during happier days.

Congrats. You’re now an IPO expert.

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Money

[VIDEO] Penny Stocks, Explained

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Penny stocks are equity investments that are traded outside major exchanges. These stocks are traded at low prices and have a small market cap. As penny stocks are illiquid and highly speculative, they carry a high risk of investment.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (or SEC) defines penny stocks as shares with a value of less than $5. Typically, a penny stock is traded over the counter or by using pink sheets.

Despite the high risks of investment, penny stocks can be a lucrative form of investment because of its low price and higher prospects of return.

Suitable for investors with a high-risk tolerance

Investing in equity markets is risky, particularly because it’s driven by price fluctuations and volatility. Investors in penny stocks will generally have a higher threshold of risk tolerance. Penny stocks are far more volatile than blue-chip stocks.

Investors hence need to take precautions while investing in penny stocks. They need to have a stop-loss order prior to entering into a trade. This will minimize the amount of downside potential in case the markets move in the opposite direction.

Penny stocks also provide an opportunity for significant companies. These companies are generally high-growth ones but with limited cash resources.

Why are penny stocks attractive to the average retail investor?

Generally, the average retail investor associates a low price stock as a bargain. But this cannot be farther from the truth. A stock can be overvalued at $1 and can be undervalued at $250.

The average investor fails to understand this due to limited investing knowledge. Penny stocks are trading at lower values for a reason. They might experience a bull run resulting in a significant price appreciation but can also come crashing down in no time. It is far easier to manipulate penny stocks.

The “Caveat Emptor” principle should be applied when investing in penny stocks. Sure, there are success stories even for penny stock investors, but is worth the risk?

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