Pro Analysis

Stifel cuts Activision Blizzard estimates on poor 'Call of Duty' sales

Visitors queue to play the video game 'Call of Duty, Infinite Warfare' developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision during the 'Paris Games Week' on October 26, 2016 in Paris, France.
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Visitors queue to play the video game 'Call of Duty, Infinite Warfare' developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision during the 'Paris Games Week' on October 26, 2016 in Paris, France.

Stifel on Tuesday lowered its financial forecasts for Activision Blizzard, saying its "Call of Duty" game sales will likely come in below expectations this holiday season.

"We are reducing estimates on Activision Blizzard, based on the performance of 'Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare' to date," analyst Drew Crum wrote in note to clients.

"From current levels, reward/risk is better to the upside through the next 12 months, in our opinion. But our sense is the shares could be choppy into 4Q earnings, and thus we'd continue to exercise caution over the near term."

Crum cited how "Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare" U.S. packaged goods [nondigital] sell-through fell about 50 percent in November, according to NPD. CNBC was the first to report on the "Call of Duty" physical games decline data on Friday.