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Analysts: Activision Blizzard Poised For 'Impressive' 2009

Analysts were impressed at Activision Blizzard's analyst day yesterday, at which the company revealed it aims to double the number of Guitar Hero SKUs by 2009 and make James Bond an annual franchise.
Analysts attended Activision Blizzard's analyst's day presentation yesterday, and several of them agree that Activision will definitely earn more after the Vivendi merger than it could have on its own. Activision Blizzard told analysts yesterday that it hopes to increase the number of Guitar Hero SKUs in 2009 -- by "almost double," according to Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter, who called the company's 2009 SKU plan "impressive." "We believe that Activision has a strong and visible lineup of key franchises scheduled for 2009, along with several new IP that have the potential to sell well," agrees Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick also revealed that the company plans to make James Bond an annual franchise with a second game slated for 2009, a development that surprised analysts especially given that there's no James Bond film planned for next year. The company didn't offer specific fiscal year 2009 guidance at its analysts' day, but Cowen Group's Doug Creutz anticipates that, given the company's current excess of $3 billion in cash, a share. Creutz says the company can generate over $1 billion in cash flow. Also among yesterday's revelations was that following Treyarch's upcoming Call of Duty: World At War, the franchise's sixth title would be developed by Infinity Ward.

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