Markets & Finance

USB Piper Upgrades Activision to 'Outperform'

USB Piper upgraded Activision (ATVI) to outperform from market perform.

Analyst Anthony Gikas says he upgraded on improving industry fundamentals in the second half of calendar 2003 and 2004, as sector sentiment appears to have bottomed out. He raised the 75 cents fiscal 2003 (March) earnings per share estimate to 79 cents. He also noted: Sales comps get easier in the second half of calendar 2003 and 2004, Activision has a very strong balance sheet, the company has strong free cash flow potential in calendar 2003 and 2004, and the risk/reward is turning favorable.

Although Gikas says there are no huge catalysts driving his upgrade thesis on Activision, he thinks a combination of several smaller catalysts justifies his call. He raised the $15 target to $18.

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