CHICAGO, Aug. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Electronic Arts Inc. (Nasdaq: ERTS), Activision Blizzard Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (Nasdaq: TTWO), Microsoft Corp. ( Nasdaq: MSFT) and Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE).
Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513
Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:
Gaming Industry Outlook Gets Murkier
Amid the economic turmoil that has shrouded the U.S. for the last couple of weeks, the gaming industry seems to be the latest victim as figures released by The NPD Group, a market research firm, reported that the gaming industry has shrunk 26.0% in July from the comparable-previous year. It was the sharpest fall since October 2006.
July's decline was the industry's third-straight month when U.S. sales of video games' hardware, software and accessories contracted in double digits. Earlier, sales during May and July declined 14% and 10%, respectively.
The major factors that resulted in the decline were weak schedule of new title releases and seasonally lower sales. Adding to the woes was the uncertainty about the economy and the disappointing growth in the jobs market that ultimately affected the consumer sentiment.
In July 2011, US sales were $707 million, down from $961.3 million in the prior-year period. Software sales including PC games and console games were down 30% to $356.9 million. Only 17 new titles were released in July 2011 compared with 29 in July 2010.
Amid this grim picture, the games that stood out were Electronic Arts Inc.'s (Nasdaq: ERTS) NCAA Football 12 and Disney Interactive Studios' Cars 2,which took the first and second spot, respectively.
Activision Blizzard Inc.'s (Nasdaq: ATVI) all time favorite Call of Duty Black Ops followed next. The fourth, fifth and sixth positions were taken by Disney Interactive Studios' Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game, Ubisoft's Just Dance 2 and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.'s (Nasdaq: TTWO) Major League Baseball 2K11, respectively.
Hardware sales were down by a whopping 29% year on year to $223 million. The decline was primarily led by a 37.6% drop in the sales of Microsoft Corp.'s (Nasdaq: MSFT) Xbox 360 gaming console. For the month, 277,000 units of console were sold. This was Xbox's first decline in sales since December 2009. Additionally, Nintendo's sales of DS and 3DS handheld players were flat on a year-over-year basis.
However, the motion-sensing Move peripheral for Sony Corp.'s (NYSE: SNE) PlayStation3 jumped 18% from the prior-year period.
Sales of videogame accessories were down 8% from the previous year to $127.8 million.
In the present scenario, with the changing dynamics of the gaming industry, consumer spending on mobile games and social networking games are gaining tremendous popularity. We believe publishing companies having an exposure in these segments would be benefited in the long run. We also believe that digitalization of the games would be a major revenue earner for the publishing companies.
However, the overall video game market remains highly fragmented, graced by a large number of companies, including Activision, Electronic Arts, Take Two Interactive Software Inc., Capcom, Koei, Konami, LucasArts, Midway, Namco, Sega, THQ and Ubisoft. This has increased competitive pressures that have kept the lid on prices.
Moreover, analysts are not projecting any positive picture for the monthly sales figures of August as no major releases are scheduled for the month. Analysts from Cowen are particularly negative, anticipating a 30% or more decline in August sales.
To conclude, the economic slowdown has taken its toll. Consumer spending remains weak to date and the lack of new game releases has not helped.
Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5515.
About Zacks Equity Research
Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.
Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.
Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5517
Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5518.
Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/zacksresearch
Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts
Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.
SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.
Nasdaq quotes delayed at least 15 minutes, all others at least 20 minutes.
Markets are closed on certain holidays. Stock Market Holiday List
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Press Release Service provided by PRConnect.
Stock quotes supplied by Telekurs USA
Postage Rates Bots go here