Conventional wisdom is that Hollywood and the video game business will survive the recession — “countercyclical” is the word CEOs like to use at investment conferences.
The notion, which makes plenty of sense (hence the conventional wisdom) is that people who can’t afford fancy houses or vacations can still drop $10 on “Eagle Eye” or $50 on Mario Kart. And that’s exactly what Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian advised this morning, promising investors that the games business would continue to “generate sold growth,” that it would “benefit from a ‘cocooning-effect'” and that he “expected[ed] retailers this holiday to remain vigorous in their support.”
All sounds reasonable to us. But on a day when the markets took a historic nose dive, none of that mattered. Three of the big game stocks did worse than the broader markets. And the two* that did slightly better — Take-Two and Gamestop — only looked good by comparison. The tale of the tape:
- Activision-Blizzard (ATVI) dropped $2.26, or 13.8%
- Electronic Arts (ERTS) dropped $3.63, or 9.2%
- GameStop (GME) dropped $1.96, or 5.4%
- Take-Two (TTWO) dropped $0.73, or 4.5%, even after being upgraded
- THQ (THQI) dropped $0.87, or 7%
*As reader Vince points out, THQ did worse than the Dow, but it performed better than NASDAQ and the S&P 500.
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