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    You can find articles every day on user-created stock tip sites that say every stock in the universe is about to rise and the time to buy is now now now! You’d get better financial advise from your cat, though. There are real financial news sources online though, one of which is Barrons. And in this article, (thanks to my dad for the tip) you can read a lot of info about ATVI’s stock value, WoW: Panda launch projections, Skylanders toy sales, Diablo III’s big sales performance, Call of Duty about to go live for online play in China, issues with Vivendi looking to sell its 61.5% share in the company, NextGen console projections, and more.

    Here’s a quote, and the full article is here.

    The Chinese online gaming market, estimated at nearly $7 billion in 2011 with 160 million online gamers, is expected to increase by 20% this year and reach more than $9 billion by 2014. Tencent, which offers China’s No. 1 game, CrossFire, a free-to-play multiplayer game comparable to Call of Duty, is the top game operator in China with $2.5 billion in revenue in 2011. NetEase (NTES), with which Activision has partnered to offer World of Warcraft in China, is No. 2, with $1 billion in revenue.

    Another plus for Santa Monica, Calif.-based Activision Blizzard is the strong reception given to its Diablo III, launched in May; more than six million units were sold in the first week. By some estimates, Diablo could contribute more than five cents a share to earnings this year, not including the profits from an auction house that lets players buy and sell gear for their characters.

    As the article points out, ATVI has been a poor performer in recent years, with the price languishing in the $10-12 range even as Activision and Blizzard have racked up huge profits, and the stock market and tech stocks in particular have increased in value. Insert the “fire Bobby” joke here, eh?

    Seriously though, do any of you guys follow the stock market, own ATVI shares, and have more hope to profit from them than from finding a really good rare weapon in Inferno? To offer full disclosure, I bought 100 shares in 2008 right at the end of the tech bust for about $9 a share, and it’s been a fairly irrelevant investment, earning slightly more (were I to sell it today) than simply leaving that money in a savings account. (Though a better one than say, lottery tickets.) On the other hand, video game stocks have done quite poorly of late, and if you compare ATVI to EA to Zynga, Bobby looks like a wiz just for treading water.

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