Video game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) earned a price-target hike for its stock on Tuesday thanks to its upcoming release slate, including World War I combat game “Battlefield 1.”
Benchmark analyst Mike Hickey reiterated his buy rating on EA stock and upped his price target to 98.54 from 93.65.
On Monday, Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson restated his overweight rating on EA stock and raised his price target to 89 from 88.
EA stock edged up 0.3% to close at 82.99 on the stock market today. EA hit an all-time high of 84.45 on Sept. 6.
IBD’S TAKE: Electronic Arts has solid IBD Composite Rating of 93, but it ranks No. 3 out of 15 stocks in IBD’s Computer Software-Gaming industry group. To see which companies lead the sector, visit the IBD Stock Checkup.
“We remain impressed with the company’s current game slate, and suspect the potential for meaningful upside relative (to) financial expectations,” Hickey said.
Like other major console game publishers, EA is benefiting from the shift to higher-margin digital game downloads and the sweet spot of the console upgrade cycle.
The buzz for EA’s “Battlefield 1” has been strong and it should profit from the large installed base of current-generation consoles, namely Sony‘s (SNE) PlayStation 4 and Microsoft‘s (MSFT) Xbox One, Hickey said.
“Battlefield 1” will be released on Oct. 21. Its biggest competition will be “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare” from Activision Blizzard (ATVI), which comes out Nov. 4.
Activision stock ended virtually flat Tuesday at 44.13, trading just below its record high of 44.84, reached on Monday.
Piper’s Olson raised his sales and earnings estimates for EA based on increasing confidence in the success of “Battlefield 1.”
The game’s developer recently concluded a beta test period that drew in 13 million players, a company record. That compares with 9 million players for the beta test last year of EA’s “Star Wars Battlefront.”
Olson now believes EA will sell 14 million units of “Battlefield 1” this fiscal year, up from his prior forecast for 12 million units.
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