Take-Two rises after EA, Activision earnings beats

Shares of Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) are rising in afternoon trading ahead of its quarterly earnings report next week. The stock boost follows earnings releases from the company's two "big 3" game maker rivals, namely Electronic Arts (EA) and Activision Blizzard (ATVI), which both mentioned the growing nature of the game industry as well as the importance of growing their core gaming pipelines. EA EARNINGS: After the market close yesterday, Electronic Arts reported better than expected fourth quarter results and announced a new $2.4B stock repurchase program. In addition, the game maker provided a conservative outlook for fiscal 2019. Commenting on the results, COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen said that the company's success is driven by the way it has changed its relationship with players. "They want more depth in their favorite games, and fresh content that can hold their attention year-round," Jorgensen said. ACTIVISION EARNINGS: Last Thursday, Activision Blizzard reported better-than-expected first quarter adjusted earnings and revenue and raised its fiscal 2018 adjusted earnings per share and adjusted revenue guidance. In addition, the game maker provided a second quarter outlook that was below consensus estimates. Commenting on the results, CEO Bobby Kotick said that the company's ability to "set new records" reflects "the breadth and enduring nature of our portfolio of franchises against the backdrop of a large and growing interactive market." Kotick added that the company's "innovative core gaming pipeline, as well as initiatives like mobile, esports, and advertising, will continue to drive growth for our business." MORGAN STANLEY BULLISH: On Friday, Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak said in a research note to investors that there was some impact on Activision Blizzard in the quarter from Epic Games' popular shooter "Fortnite," though that impct was less than feared. The analyst at the time said he sees the size of the "Fortnite" impact as a bullish sign for Take-Two and Electronic Arts. Epic Games is 40% owned by Tencent (TCEHY) and is part of Disney's (DIS) Accelerator Program. PRICE ACTION: In afternoon trading, Take-Two shares are up 4.3% to $116.10. Meanwhile, EA shares are up 6.4% and Activision Blizzard is up about 3.2%.

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