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Lazard: Activision Blizzard Wisest Investment In The Game Biz

Lazard Capital Markets calls Activision Blizzard a "relative haven" for investors in an economic downturn, as the analyst firm chose the publishing giant as a "top pick in the interactive entertainment sector."
Among mixed outlooks for video game stock, Activision Blizzard remains a good bet, according to analyst firm Lazard Capital Markets, naming the publishing giant among its "relative havens" across the various sectors it covers. "Activision Blizzard is our top pick in the interactive entertainment sector," says Lazard's Colin Sebastian. "We consider it a core holding in media and technology leveraged to higher- growth areas of interactive entertainment and online content consumption." High operating margins, the diversity of its revenue base, several strong franchises and a presently-low price relative to its value all contribute to make Activision Blizzard attractive, Sebastian says as part of a Lazard-wide analyst report covering multiple stock market sectors. Holiday discounts and the "maturity" of the Guitar Hero franchise are risks to the company's value, but Sebastian nonetheless expects Activision Blizzard to continue performing well, thanks to its 2009 plans and its World of Warcraft revenue stream.

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