Playing Videogame Stocks: Take-Two vs. EA

Videogame maker Take-Two Interactive has its annual shareholders meeting Thursday -- and sure to be discussed is the hostile bid from rival Electronic Arts.

What's the play on the game publishers? Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities, offered his advice to CNBC.


The new edition of Take-Two's popular Grand Theft Auto game comes out on April 29. Observers are split on whether the controversial franchise will boost the company's stock -- or whether problems and expenses associated with GTA will hurt Take-Two.

"They're both wrong," says Pachter. He maintains the new version will be as popular and money-making as previous GTA incarnations -- but says that Wall Street has already priced it in.

What of EA's takeover bid? Take-Two's management rejected the offer, leading to EA pitching it directly to investors. But the analyst says today's meeting won't resolve the issue. Why?

  • Learn more: Watch the entire interview (3 mins, 10 secs)

"Fifty or 75 percent of Take-Two shares are in the hands of risk [arbitrators]" who bought heavily following EA's Feb. 25 bid, said Pachter. And only shareholders of record as of Feb. 19 are admitted to the meeting today.

So what's the trade?


Pachter has a "buy" rating on Electronic Arts .

He has a "hold" rating on Take-Two Interactive . However, Pachter notes it was a "sell" before the bid.


Neither Pachter nor his firm hold shares of either videogame company.