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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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5 Epic Money Posts From 5 Epic Instagram Channels

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Yes, we’re heading into the ninth inning of the lockdown, and yes, we’re ready to step outside and be real people again.

Still, Instagram has been—and still is—most people’s pastime. And we can’t exactly say it ain’t ours, either.

So because we like to share the stuff that helps you all make money (or at least think about it), we decided to put together five great posts from Instagram that will inspire you to do just that.

Make some money. Here goes.

1. @thebrandstartup

This upstart channel is dope as it is, building its brand in just a few weeks and amassing over 100K followers in the process.

This post breaks down why Bob’s $3K salary > John’s $10K. (Pay attention.)

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3 Simple Strategies You Can Use To Build Your Investment Portfolio

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If you’re starting out with planning your investments, chalking out your goals and how you’d like to achieve them is incredibly important. You’ll need to understand what kind of assets you’d like to invest in–be it private equity or the tried and tested products like treasury bonds, ETFs and stocks–and invest right. Here are three key strategies to build your portfolio:

1. Building Wealth Is All About Thinking Rationally (And Smart)

Having the right mindset can play a huge role in how you build your investments. It’s simply not just about strategy. To ditch following the latest fad in the market, you need to be responsible and have a sense of social indifference–coupled with confidence and patience.

2. Invest Like A Cheapskate

If you’re pumping in $150,000 as investment, on which you incur 1% as fees, look out for ways through which you can cut them down.

If you were to cut costs by a little more than a half, that’s saving you at least $1,120 in fees every year. But that’s not it–when this saving is compounded every year, that 1% fee can tally up to a million (if saved, could win you your big ticket to becoming a millionaire)

3. The KISS (Keep It Simple, Silly) Rule

Funnily enough, most of us think investing your way through millions demands extensive knowledge of financial instruments or strategies. Surprisingly, it’s the simplest of assets that give investors their biggest wins. Many successful investors highlight their success to stocks, bonds and other popular alternative investments, patiently held over time.

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(THROWBACK!) High-Dividend REITs: Are They A Safe Bet?

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Investment in Real Estate Investment Trusts (or REIT’s) are ideal for investors who want a regular stream of income. REIT’s purchase real estate properties and lease them to clients (or tenants). This income generated is then paid to shareholders via dividends.

REIT’s are required to distribute at least 90% of net income to shareholders which means these firms have higher dividend yields compared to regular equity investments. But how many high dividend paying REIT’s are worth investing in? This article looks at REIT’s with high dividend yields and a market cap of approximately $1 billion.

CBL & Associates Properties

CBL & Associates Properties (or CBL) has a market cap of $915 million. This REIT has a dividend yield of 17.4% and pays annual dividends of $0.80 per share. CBL’s portfolio is primarily in regional shopping malls (Class B and Class C).

CBL is grappling with declining sales as revenue has fallen from $1.04 billion in 2015 to $1.02 billion in 2016 and $927 million in 2017. Revenue is estimated to decline to $852 million in 2018 and $835 million in 2019. There have been concerns over the high debt levels (over $4 billion) of CBL as well.

Further, company CEO Stephen Lebovitz also hinted at a possible dividend cut in the future. CBL reduced its dividend by 25% last year as well. CBL has stated that it is looking to reposition its portfolio and focus on redevelopment initiatives. However, investors will not be confident about investing in a stock that has declined from $20 per share in August 2013 to $4.65 in August 2018. The stock is trading 16% above the average analyst price target of $3.91.

Washington Prime Group

Washington Prime Group (or WPG) engages in the acquisition and development of retail properties and this REIT has a market cap of $1.5 billion. WPG has a dividend yield of 12.8% and pays annual dividends of $1 per share. The stock price has declined from close to $20 in May 2014 to the current price of $7.92 which is 6% higher than the analyst target price of $7.45. This year, WPG has however risen over 18%.

WPG is a mall owner with assets across Florida, the Mid-West and the East Coast. In this digital age when the number of people visiting malls has declined, WPG has also seen its revenue decline. Sales have fallen from $922 million in 2015 to $758 million in 2017 and are estimated to reach $724 million this year.

WPG’s funds from operation (or FFO) which is similar to earnings per share for stocks declined 8.4% in 2017, while occupancy reduced from 94% in 2016 to 93% last year. WPG might also have to cut dividends if sales continue to decline over the next few quarters.

Global Net Lease

Global Net Lease (or GNL) has a market cap of $1.5 billion and this REIT has a portfolio of commercial properties. GNL focuses on sale-leaseback transactions across the United States and Western Europe. GNL has over 300 properties with an average lease term of 8.6 years.

GNL’s client base includes FedEx, GSA, ING, and Finnair among others. While GNL’s revenue rose 21% year-over-year to $259 million in fiscal 2017, FFO per share declined 18%. GNL has a dividend yield of 10% and pays an annual dividend of $2.13 per share compared to its reported FFO of $2.10 per share last year.

GNL aims to acquire properties worth $293 million this year which will expand the company’s portfolio. GNL is estimated to post revenue of $283 million in 2018, $303 million in 2019 and $314 million in 2020. GNL is trading at $21.53 which is 11.5% lower compared to analyst average target estimates of $24.

Kimco Realty

Kimco Realty (KIM) has a market cap of $7.2 billion and is one the largest publicly traded REIT. This REIT owns close to 500 shopping centers in the United States with 83 million square feet of leasable property. Kimco has a dividend yield of 6.6% and pays an annual dividend of $1.12 per share.

According to this report from Suredividend.com. “Kimco’s property portfolio has enjoyed rising occupancy and rents over the past several years.” In the first quarter of 2018, Kimco’s FFP rose 5.4% driven by a rise in occupancy and rent. While occupancy rose 1 basis point to 96.1%, rental rates for new leases rose over 15%.

Kimco’s tenants include struggling retail companies such as Sears, JC Penny and Kmart all of whom might close a few stores. Kimco will need to look at acquisitions to drive future revenue. This stock has lost close to 6% in 2018 and is trading at $17.06 which is 1.3% lower than analyst projections.

Senior Housing Properties

Senior Housing Properties (SNH) is a healthcare REIT with a market cap of $4.5 billion and a dividend yield of 8.2%. This REIT owns property worth $8.5 billion and over 700 tenants. SNH shares have increased close to 30% since February this year and the stock is trading at $19.04 which is 4% below average analyst price target estimates of $18.25.

While SNH’s FFO per share fell 16% in 2017, performance has started to improve this year. SNH has managed to beat analyst earnings estimates considerably in the last two quarters. SNH has acquired properties worth over $300 million and sold assets of approximately $800 million since the start of 2017. The proceeds were used to pay off debt.

SNH revenue is estimated to rise 4.1% year-over-year to $1.12 billion in 2018 and 2.1% to $1.14 billion in 2019.

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