Activision stock gains after upgrade at Citi

Activision Blizzard Inc. shares look attractive after a recent selloff, according to Citi Research analyst Jason Bazinet, who upgraded the stock to buy from neutral late Thursday. The company has come under pressure recently amid fears about the environment at Blizzard, following a lawsuit alleging a "frat boy" culture and indications that the turmoil was impacting employees' ability to make progress on gaming projects. Activision shares are down 9% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has added about 8% over three months. "Based on our scenario analysis, we believe that the current concerns about Blizzard's execution and China regulatory risk are more than priced into ATVI's equity at current levels, presenting investors with a buying opportunity," Bazinet wrote. "While we recognize that Blizzard's execution on its pipeline of games could be impacted, we do not believe that the negative workplace perception portrayed in the press has resulted in any impairment to Blizzard's underlying IP and ultimately expect that the company will be able to execute on its pipeline of game releases over next 12-18 months." Bazinet lowered his price target to $105 from $110 in conjunction with the upgrade. Shares are up 1.5% in premarket trading Friday. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Activision stock gains after upgrade at Citi
Activision Blizzard Inc. shares look attractive after a recent selloff, according to Citi Research analyst Jason Bazinet, who upgraded the stock to buy from neutral late Thursday. The company has come under pressure recently amid fears about the environment at Blizzard, following a lawsuit alleging a "frat boy" culture and indications that the turmoil was impacting employees' ability to make progress on gaming projects. Activision shares are down 9% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has added about 8% over three months. "Based on our scenario analysis, we believe that the current concerns about Blizzard's execution and China regulatory risk are more than priced into ATVI's equity at current levels, presenting investors with a buying opportunity," Bazinet wrote. "While we recognize that Blizzard's execution on its pipeline of games could be impacted, we do not believe that the negative workplace perception portrayed in the press has resulted in any impairment to Blizzard's underlying IP and ultimately expect that the company will be able to execute on its pipeline of game releases over next 12-18 months." Bazinet lowered his price target to $105 from $110 in conjunction with the upgrade. Shares are up 1.5% in premarket trading Friday. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.