Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI - Get Report) , the gaming giant, has impressed Moody's Investors Service, with the ratings agency saying the company will "continue to be a leader in the video game market and deliver consistent high-quality premium content."
Moody's bumped up its rating on Activision Blizzard's senior unsecured debt to Baa1 from Baa2, with a stable outlook. The upgrade was based on the company's plan to "repay at least $1 billion of their senior unsecured debt during 2018, as well as the benefits of U.S. tax reform resulting in lower than expected future taxes on both taxable income and its overseas cash balances," according to Moody's.
As of Dec. 31, 2017, Activision Blizzard had a cash balance of around $4.7 billion. This, coupled with Moody's outlook that, "Activision Blizzard possesses a leading position in the growing but significantly fragmented gaming industry, strong revenue diversification across the globe and in multiple genres and gaming platforms, and a leading track record of developing profitable and sustainable franchises with international appeal and leading gaming community avidity," means good news for Activision Blizzard and its investors.
In a press release, Moody's stated that "historical seasonality has and will continue to dissipate due to greater volume of digital in-game content between major game launches and new revenue streams, which are spread evenly across the year such as e-Sports and mobile advertising." Moody's also said, "We believe the company will maintain its positive operating momentum over the intermediate term, driven by its driven by its several top-selling game franchises and growing mobile and e-Sports opportunities."
The stock was rising 0.5% on Tuesday to $66.67. It has risen 5.3% so far in 2018.