Stocks Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Stocks RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Former majority owner of Activision buys stock in Ubisoft and Gameloft Thu, 15 Oct 2015 15:35:02 -0400 Cameron Patel

The French media company Vivendi, once famous for being the majority shareholder of Activision, has shown a renewed interest in the video game industry after buying a 6.6% stake in Ubisoft and a 6.2% stake in Gameloft.

Vivendi owned a 63% controlling stake in Activision, but due to restructuring, they decided to sell the majority of their shares, now only holding 6% ownership in the company. They intially sold the majority of their shares for $8.17 billion, and later sold another 5.8% for $850 million.

In response to Vivendi's purchase of Gameloft stock, Gameloft issued a press release:

"We take note of the unsolicited action on the part of Vivendi. We reiterate our intention to remain independent, an approach that, since our founding 16 years ago, enabled us to become a world leader in mobile gaming, and from 2015, a significant and fast growing actor of mobile advertising. "

Vivendi's interest in the companies could be alarming, considering that their investment of about $183 million in both companies seems like an almost meager amount compared to their $10 billion dollar warchest, gained from the sales of many of their assets over the past few years - no small part of which came from Activision. 

Why do you think Vivendi is so interested in this companies. What do you make of their investment? Let me know in the comments!

Microsoft's Steve Ballmer to Retire, Investors Possibly Looking to Sell Xbox Division Fri, 23 Aug 2013 15:13:13 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has announced his upcoming retirement after a 1% shareholder in the company, ValueAct, made it clear shareholders are ready for him to step down.

Ballmer's retirement announcement has caused Microsoft shares to rise throughout the day, but there is another piece of business one analyst believes ValueAct will be pushing once it claims a spot on Microsoft's board of directors: the sale of the Xbox division.

Analyst Rick Sherlund believes ValueAct is looking to make some big changes at Microsoft to turn around what has been a bad year for the company. On July 19th, Microsoft shares closed at nearly 12% down, something that has not happened since 2000 to 2001. With Windows 8 and Surface tablet sales not living up to expectations, something needs to give.

Sherlund believes ValueAct will be making a move to sell off the company's Xbox division once it claims a space on the board of directors, stating:

“Xbox is cool, but by our estimates Microsoft has not made money at this.”

Had Ballmer not announced his retirement a mere day after ValueAct's intentions were made public, this would be a tad less worrying.

Steve Ballmer will be retiring from his position as Microsoft CEO within the next 12 months, once a successor has been chosen.

Microsoft Would Rather Leave the Game Industry Than Sell Its Xbox Division Tue, 04 Jun 2013 20:02:14 -0400 Aneudys Tejeda

Sources have told AllThingsD that Microsoft chief executive officer, Steve Ballmer, is planning a major restructuring of the company. The idea is to rebuild the company around devices and services in consumer and enterprise markets was a focus mentioned by Ballmer in his letter to investors on October 2012. This could lead to a bigger role for Don Mattrick, President of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. With this development, news industry analysts were quick to share their thoughts on the matter. 

Independent analyst Billy Pidgeon, told Games Industry International.

"I don't think this scenario is likely at all. I can't see the upside of a deal like that for Microsoft or for a potential buyer at any time, but particularly before the Xbox One launch such a move would be beyond stupid."

Wedbush Securities' Michael Pachter doesn't believe it's as crazy to sell off the Xbox branch, but he doesn't see an advantage to spinning off the Xbox either, especially before the Xbox One Launch.

"I don't think there are many synergies with the core enterprise software business at Microsoft, so I see little benefit in their being combined and little detriment if they were to split up. There is synergy with Skype, so as long as those were packaged together, I think Xbox would be fine as a standalone company." 

Asif A. Khan, CFO of Virtue LLC.

"I think the Xbox division would probably get a better valuation by itself than it is in the current conglomerate form of Microsoft as Xbox is outgrowing the sluggish Office and Windows divisions. That being said, I think it is very unlikely that Microsoft would spin it off. The idea that another company like Samsung would acquire that spun off Xbox division is even less likely. Xbox is the only thing that has investors excited about Microsoft, so it makes little sense to divest of the division."

Microsoft seems to be in a difficult spot with its Xbox brand between how people see the company and financial reality.

Sony recently went through a similar idea back in May when Daniel Loeb, CEO of Third Point LLC and owner of six percent of Sony, proposed splitting its profitable entertainment branch in order to bring it to the public. Stocks for Sony went up after the Xbox One reveal while Microsoft's went down.

On one hand, the Xbox is what interests the investors and is keeping people interested. But the bottom line financially is that Microsoft could do without the Xbox branch. Given its only been a week since the Xbox One reveal I find it highly unlikely that the restructuring will involve selling the Xbox branch. At least not immediately. Perhaps, a restructuring is what they need.  What are your thoughts on the matter?



GungHo Made $3.76 Million a Day in April with Puzzle & Dragons Mon, 13 May 2013 14:18:34 -0400 Ashley Shankle

The success of Japanese mobile title Puzzle & Dragons has reached almost astronomical proportions. GungHo Entertainment raked in a whopping $3.76 million each day in April, with Puzzle & Dragons garnering 13 million players in that time.

GungHo reported ¥12 billion ($118 million) in revenue for the month of April, marking a 1,142% increase in revenue over last year. Puzzle & Dragons alone made up $113 million in revenue.

The company's share price rose 28.79% on the Osaka Stock Exchange this morning, and the market closed with GungHo's market cap sitting at $10 billion. This is higher than Japanese mobile giants Mobage, DeNA, and GREE; as well as Western giant Zynga combined.

The 13 million Puzzle & Dragons players make up 10% of the whole of Japan's population. Who new a single game could be so successful? The game is set to release on the Nintendo 3DS later this year. Will this new release see the same type of success?