Thought video game sales were going to slow once December ended? Think again.
The January sales data is hot off the press and according to the numbers, it was the best sales for the month in seven years. However, it wasn't just game sales that were hot; hardware was hot too.
Total sales logged in at $1.09 billion. If that seems like a lot, it's because it is. Last year's January figure stood at a paltry $690 million. Hardware sales jumped 119% to $278 million. While the Nintendo (NTDOY) Switch did well, the Sony (SNE) PlayStation and Microsoft (MSFT) Xbox were both strong as well. Accessories climbed 37% to top $300 million.
Game sales didn't disappoint, climbing more than 50% year-over-year to $517 million. Who led the push?
CapCom's Monster Hunter: World came in at No. 1 while Bandai Namco's Dragon Ball: Fighterz came in at No. 2. Rounding out the top five were Activision Blizzard's (ATVI) Call of Duty: WWII, Microsoft's Playerunknown's Battlegrounds and Take-Two Interactive Software's (TTWO) Grand Theft Auto V.
Take-Two also held the No. 6 spot with NBA 2K18, followed by Nintendo's Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 at No. 7, 8 and 9, respectively. Coming in at No. 10 was Electronic Arts' (EA) Madden 18.
So how is Wall Street reacting? Not quite as upbeat as one might expect. EA stock fell 0.23% while Take-Two barely closed in positive territory, up just 8 basis points. Activision Blizzard stock did even worse, actually falling 1.04% to $69.59 in the session.
The only real shining stars here were Nvidia (NVDA) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) . Nvidia was up about 1.5% before the market fell late in the afternoon, forcing the stock to close up just 0.33% to $232.15. Nvidia and AMD make many of the necessary graphic cards used in gaming.
While Electronic Arts has been hot since reporting earnings in January, shares of Take-Two Interactive Software and Activision Blizzard have seemed hesitant to rally despite reporting pretty solid quarterly results. Admittedly, the group has done well over the past year, but one would think the stocks would be doing better given the strong momentum the industry saw in December followed by a superb January.
Also to note, Activision's Overwatch League has been getting plenty of traction. Its Stage 2 portion just started and investors are hoping that it might give a boost to the stock too.
One other consideration is Amazon's (AMZN) Twitch platform, which is no doubt seeing higher traffic as a result of Overwatch -- and all the other game sales.
Microsoft, Activision Blizzard, Nvidia and Amazon are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells MSFT, ATVI, NVDA and AMZN? Learn more now.