Should You Consider Investing in Activision Blizzard (ATVI)?

Cooper Investors, an investment management firm, published its “Cooper Investors Global Equities Fund (Hedged)” first quarter 2021 investor letter – a copy of which can be downloaded here. A return of +3% was delivered by the fund for the Q1 of 2021, ahead of the benchmark, on a 1 year and less timeframe it is behind. You can view the fund’s top 5 holdings to have a peek at their top bets for 2021.

Cooper Investors Global Equities Fund (Hedged), in their Q1 2021 investor letter, mentioned Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) and shared their insights on the company. Activision Blizzard, Inc. is a Santa Monica, California-based video game company that currently has a $72.1 billion market capitalization. Since the beginning of the year, ATVI delivered a 0.18% return, extending its 12-month gains to 39.56%. As of April 23, 2021, the stock closed at $93.02 per share.

Here is what Cooper Investors Global Equities Fund (Hedged) has to say about Activision Blizzard, Inc. in their Q1 2021 investor letter:

“The portfolio established a position in video game publisher Activision Blizzard. As a watchlist company we have followed Activision for several years. As a reminder the role of the watchlist is to allow us to focus on a select group of companies where we seek to observe important signals around either value latency, industry trends or management behaviour that portend attractive investment propositions.

Technology can often play a disruptive role in content, however video games are a clear beneficiary of technology, both in terms of more immersive and realistic gaming experiences as well as the monetisation opportunities this creates.

In order to benefit from these trends, video game publishers must be owners of unique IP. Activision Blizzard fits this bill perfectly boasting a portfolio which includes franchises such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Diablo just to name a few.

The business is run by CEO Bobby Kotick, who together with Chairman Brian Kelly purchased the foundation assets for the company for US$400k in the early 1990s. Today Activision has a market capitalisation of over US$70bn. Over the last few years Bobby and his management team have refocused resources onto their best IP, with the goal of capitalising on the aforementioned industry tailwinds.

We saw the benefits of this in 2020 with the release of Call of Duty Mobile and Free-to-Play versions (with in game micro transactions) complimenting the traditional core console game. Engagement increased materially and due to the very favourable economics of content publishing, Operating Income more than doubled for the Call of Duty Franchise. Even adjusting for the impact of lockdowns, this is a phenomenal outcome.

Activision has 3-4 key pieces of IP with which they plan to repeat this playbook over the next couple of years. If they can replicate the success of Call of Duty, even in part, we see material upside to the free cash flow power of the business. Further, revenue sources are broadening which will move the profile away from a traditional lumpy annual release cycle of the old video game model towards one of a more recurring nature. This will transition Activision from a publishing to a services business, likely attracting a higher multiple than the current mid-low 20x FCF which is broadly in line with the market. To summarise, we see significant value latency and a pathway to double digit returns over the medium term.”

Adam Ziaja /

Our calculations show that Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) does not belong in our list of the 30 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds. As of the end of the fourth quarter of 2020, Activision Blizzard, Inc. was in 81 hedge fund portfolios, compared to 93 funds in the third quarter. ATVI delivered a -1.49% return in the past 3 months.

The top 10 stocks among hedge funds returned 231.2% between 2015 and 2020, and outperformed the S&P 500 Index ETFs by more than 126 percentage points. We know it sounds unbelievable. You have been dismissing our articles about top hedge fund stocks mostly because you were fed biased information by other media outlets about hedge funds’ poor performance. You could have doubled the size of your nest egg by investing in the top hedge fund stocks instead of dumb S&P 500 ETFs. Here you can watch our video about the top 5 hedge fund stocks right now. All of these stocks had positive returns in 2020.

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Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.