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Activision Blizzard, American Airlines, Netflix: Stocks That Defined the Week

By 2022-01-22 No Comments

Workplace-misconduct allegations at Activision Blizzard gave Microsoft an opening to make a deal.
Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Microsoft’s decision to buy Activision Blizzard powered up videogame stocks. After Tuesday’s announcement of Microsoft Inc.’s $75 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard Inc., shares of Electronic Arts Inc., Ubisoft Entertainment SA and Nintendo Co. jumped on the prospect of more deals as investors place bets on the rapidly consolidating industry. Deal-making among videogame companies has surged in recent years as gaming has become more popular on mobile devices. Activision soared 26% Tuesday.


Activision Blizzard Inc.

Microsoft’s
decision to buy Activision Blizzard powered up videogame stocks. After Tuesday’s announcement of Microsoft Inc.’s $75 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard Inc., shares of
Electronic Arts Inc.,
Ubisoft Entertainment SA and Nintendo Co. jumped on the prospect of more deals as investors place bets on the rapidly consolidating industry. Deal-making among videogame companies has surged in recent years as gaming has become more popular on mobile devices. Activision soared 26% Tuesday.


Kohl’s Corp.

An activist investor wants more of a makeover at Kohl’s. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Macellum Advisors GP LLC, which has a roughly 5% stake in Kohl’s, is urging the company to make changes that include altering its board or to explore a sale. Over the past year, Kohl’s made a number of changes, including reinstating a dividend and boosting its share repurchases. The company is also investing in its new partnership with cosmetics chain Sephora and updating over half of its more than 1,000 stores. The issues at Kohl’s predate the pandemic, as department stores and mall-based chains lost shoppers to e-commerce and other retailers. Kohl’s shares added 4.1% Tuesday.


Exxon Mobil Corp.

Exxon said it is taking its greenhouse-gas emissions down to zero—but didn’t commit to reducing emissions from the use of its fuels. The oil giant said Tuesday it would reach its goal by 2050. This goal doesn’t cover emissions from consumer use of its products, like oil and gas, which make up most of the emissions connected to the company. Oil producers face mounting pressure from investors to respond to climate change. With Exxon’s announcement, all of the largest Western oil companies have now made so-called net-zero commitments. Exxon shares rose 1.7% Tuesday.


Procter & Gamble Co.

Shoppers are paying up for Pampers diapers and Gillette razors. Pricing at household staple maker Procter & Gamble on average rose 3% in the latest quarter, the company said, and price increases accounted for half of the company’s revenue growth in the period. U.S. inflation in 2021 hit its fastest pace in nearly four decades, as pandemic supply-and-demand imbalances pushed up prices on everything from used cars to grocery items. The added revenue helped P&G offset soaring prices for raw materials, labor and transportation of goods, as supply-chain woes continue to weigh on almost every industry. P&G shares added 3.4% Wednesday.


Morgan Stanley

Wall Street is banking on deal making again. Morgan Stanley profit rose 9% in the recent quarter, buoyed by gains in investment banking in a booming market for deals. Other banks also reported investment-banking gains. But Morgan Stanley’s stock and bond trading revenue fell 6% as the nation’s biggest banks saw trading revenue slow down as market volatility subsided. Meanwhile, Wall Street firms are offering bigger paydays to attract and keep employees in a tight labor market. Full-year compensation expenses at Morgan Stanley rose 18% to $24.6 billion. Morgan Stanley shares rose 1.8% Wednesday.


American Airlines Group Inc.

Omicron keeps offering new turbulence to the airline industry. Even though holiday travel helped U.S. airlines bring in more revenue at the end of last year than any quarter since the pandemic began, major carriers still lost money amid a surge in Covid-19 cases.
American Airlines,
the world’s largest airline, said on Thursday it expects to fly 8% to 10% less in the first quarter than it did in the comparable period of 2019 and anticipates its flying capacity for the full year to be down 5% from pre-pandemic levels. Still, airline executives said bookings have started to come back as people plan trips for spring and beyond. American shares fell 3.2% Thursday.

Netflix Inc.

Are Netflix investors changing the channel? Shares in the streaming giant dropped 22% Friday after Netflix reported slowing subscriber growth Thursday. The company forecast an increase of 2.5 million subscribers in the current quarter, compared with four million a year earlier, citing growing competition and lasting disruptions from the pandemic. Netflix also said it expects to add a much smaller number of subscribers this quarter than it did a year ago. The company’s subscriber miss came despite a strong content lineup of movies and TV shows in the quarter including new seasons of “The Witcher” and “You” and the political satire “Don’t Look Up.”

Write to Francesca Fontana at [email protected]

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