Weak Game Sales Are No Problem For This Stock

Tickers in this article: ATVI EA MSFT SNE TTWO
For 2012, the top titles were:

1.     Call of Duty: Black Ops II (X360, PS3, Wii U, PC) – Activision Blizzard

2.     Madden NFL 13 (X360, PS3, Wii, PS Vita, Wii U) – Electronic Arts

3.     Halo 4 (X360) – Microsoft

4.     Assassin's Creed III – (X360, PS3, PC, Wii U) – Ubisoft

5.     Just Dance 4 (Wii, X360, Wii U, PS3) – Ubisoft

6.     NBA 2K13 (X360, PS3, Wii, PSP, Wii U, PC) – Take-Two

7.     Borderlands 2 (X360, PS3, PC) – Take-Two

8.     Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (X360, PS3, Wii, PC) – Activision

9.     Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (Wii, X360, DS, 3DS, PS3, PS Vita, PC) – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

10.   FIFA Soccer 13 (X360, PS3, Wii, PS Vita, 3DS, Wii U, PSP) – Electronic Arts

Analysis: EA relies heavily on its sports games franchise, but consumers so far continue to enjoy the new releases, year after year. EA improved its FPS – first person shooter – segment with the release of Battlefield 3. Despite the successful release, Activision is the leader in this segment with the Call of Duty franchise.

Take-Two could be a value play. In November 2012, it was revealed that Carl Icahn owned 10.7% of the company. For 2013, GTA V, or Grand Theft Auto V, will drive excitement around the company.

Microsoft shares are not performing as well for a company who sold $220 million worth of Halo IV within 24 hours of launch, back in November 2012. The company recently acquired R2 Studios, a software firm that makes media-sharing for the home. Microsoft’s Xbox will be a central part of the company’s strategy to more tightly integrate media across its other platforms.

Conclusion

Microsoft is the company to watch more closely. While EA and Activision could make sharp moves, helped by strong sales for its hot titles, Microsoft is in more businesses. Investors could be more interested in the company when more information about XBOX 720 is released, with coverage picking up later this year. Sony (SNE) could also reveal more details on the Playstation 4 (PS4), which would bring more attention to Microsoft.

Written by Kapitall's Chris LauDisclosure: Author holds a long position in Electronic Arts (EA).