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EA Downgraded By Citigroup


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Citigroup has downgraded EA's shares from "Buy" to "Neutral":




SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Electronic Arts Inc. was downgraded to a neutral rating by Citigroup, with its price target reduced from $19 to $14. In a note to clients, analyst Neil Doshi cited "limited ***-**s" for the videogame publisher, despite noting that the stock is "near a trough multiple." EA shares have fallen more than 40% since the first of the year. Doshi wrote that the company's social gaming efforts "have had limited success thus far," and added the concern that active subscribers to its "Star Wars: The Old Republic" online multi-player game have fallen from 1.7 million to 1.3 million. "We think EA has a lot of potential, as it's the only publisher with meaningful participation across all platforms," Doshi wrote. "But for now, we're moving to the sidelines until EA can execute on these initiatives." Separately, EA announced that DreamWorks Studios has acquired the feature-film rights for its popular "Need for Speed" racing franchise. The studio is targeting a 2014 release for the film. EA shares were flat in early trades on Friday.

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Doshi wrote that the company's social gaming efforts "have had limited success thus far," and added the concern that active subscribers to its "Star Wars: The Old Republic" online multi-player game have fallen from 1.7 million to 1.3 million.


If "Social Gaming efforts" is refferring to Origin and battlelog, then Duh? Thats one of many problems trying to compete w/ an established giant like Steam. When you fall short, it only magnifies how far something like Origin has to go to catch up.


Once the rest of the fickle PC masses move on from Bf3, where will Origin be then? dead...



Nice find Taz. Will re-post it.

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I have to say, Battlelog has done a good job in respect to me, I hardly use steam these days. Mostly because valve really doesn't have any titles that hold me to their system. I play Shogun 2 total war, but that's single player so I don't really use steam. Having the mod workshop integrated in Steam was a great step for Skyrim though. Valve needs to release a new title that makes great use of everything steam has to offer, but that won't happen until the next left 4 dead or counterstrike re-explodes.


I'm not really into MMO's these days, so seeing another MMO fail is kinda the norm these days. Someone launches a MMO, it goes big, then trickles off and eventually gets re-bundled into a free to play version.


Development of the battlelog system is slower than I expected and I wish they would expand it's features quicker, they'll be wishing they did come the next Valve release. Third party plugins like Better Battlelog are a good start, but they need more clan and group enhancements. I've been waiting for that matches integration since it showed up, nobody has talked about it since the button appeared?


I don't have any stock in EA, but as a gamer, and fan of the BF series, and someone looking forward to Sim City, I have hope for the company and some of the things they try to accomplish.

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This is what happens when EA does not listen to the game communities....






11.89 down_r.gif 0.22(1.82%)




Five year span of EA's stock


EA's 5 year stock prices


In Oct. 8, 2007, EA's stock was at $61.40/share


Today: $11.89/share


The current CEO of EA, John Riccitiello, joined EA in April 2007. I believe that because of him, EA has gone downhill.




He returned to EA as CEO in April of 2007.


I wonder if he even knows how to play the games EA makes??

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Doing some research for GDC Taipei next week. Did you know that EA's total business activity since '03 has resulted in a $47m loss?


i.e. the last 4 years of losses more than cancels out the previous 5 years of profits?


Over the same time period, Activision has made approx (due to reporting changes) profit of $898k

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As someone who knows nothing about stocks, nor what they mean for a company...


I really wonder if this could cause EA to cease to exist in its current form. Or is it inevitable that they bounce back up.

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Its just a confidence game at the end of the day...the more confident ppl are in EA, the greater demand there is for thier stock...therefore higher stock prices as sellers raise thier asking price and ppl actually pay it.


The recent drop in price shows that stockholders are losing confidence in the company and are trying to sell what they have, and lowering thier asking price in an effort to sell thier stock.


Easy to follow so far ?? :biglol:

In the past 4 years...since the transition from Battlefield 2 (through Bad Company 2 and now Battlefield 3) and the rise of the Call of Duty market, EA has been losing ground to Activision.

So much so that they hired the 2 guys from Activision/COD to work on BF3 (I forget thier names) and several features of that franchise were adopted into Battlefield.

eg. the in-game ranking system is the most prominent.

This was a bad move on EA's part, the Battlefield 2 system was far superior in my opinion.


Obviously this was going to show as an admitance that the competition was doing better and confidence was going to take a hit and this would translate to the market sooner or later.


While the Battlefield market may not be the "be all and end all" of EA it is supposedly a flagship title and the constant berating of Bad Company 2, and now Battlefield 3, seem to be having such an effect that thier other major lines....the sports franchise lines (NFL, Tiger Woods, NBA,MLB)...can't seem to make up the difference.

Maybe now they...EA...will take notice and go back to being creative instead of copying the competition in an effort to keep up.


On a personal note...aside from the constant hack-fests, spawn camping blah blah that are inherant to the game...I still think COD 4 (even just from a graphics point of view) was far superior to either BC2 or BF3...and almost 6 years old now and I would switch back to it right now...if it wasn't for all the other baggage that came with it.

Edited by kraxus187
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On a personal note...aside from the constant hack-fests, spawn camping blah blah that are inherant to the game...I still think COD 4 (even just from a graphics point of view) was far superior to either BC2 or BF3...and almost 6 years old now and I would switch back to it right now...if it wasn't for all the other baggage that came with it.


CoD4 was a great game. Still is but it slowly fades away with every new release. It is the best modern cod game Activision released imo. CoD4 was also the last game I was truly excited for. Now it's just games trying to copy CoD and doing it wrong.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Rumor – Peter Moore to replace John Riccitiello as EA CEO


Here’s a massive rumor for you: GameFront has been told by a source close to the matter EA CEO John Riccitiello will be replaced by EA Sports boss Peter Moore. The news is set to be announced after a July 30 earnings call.


Again, take this with a grain of salt for now, but if true, this is huge news.

The source stated that while Moore replacing Riccitiello was not set in stone, as the board has yet to vote on the matter, there’s a “general feeling of tension throughout EA’s studios,” due to the company’s falling stock prices. As of yesterday, stock in the company has hit a 52-week low yesterday.


Today, stock in the company is trading at $11.64 per share compared to $26.13 per share 52-weeks ago.

Riccitiello has been CEO of EA since 2007, after a a hiatus when he originally left his COO position at the firm in April 2004.

Since returning, Riccitiello has overseen the Origin platform and EA’s decision to focus on a digital direction, the later of which brought in over $1 billion in digital revenue during the firm’s 2011 calendar year.


Yesterday, there was a quote from analyst Michael Pachter floating around, in which he said during a lunch with Riccitiello, he expressed concerns over being “fired,” and was curious as to why the firm’s “stock had hit such a low point.”

Pachter clarified later that while this statement was true and he was “quoted accurately,” he was just “kiddng.”



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Oskar Burman has resigned from EA a year after Ben Cousins left the same position


Easy Studios general manager Oskar Burman has decided to leave EA for a "new exciting shiny thing". This comes over a year after previous Easy Studios general manager Ben Cousins left the studio to establish a new Ngmoco studio in Stockholm, Sweden.



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Electronic Arts stock is trading around a 52-week low, but Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello tells me that the fundamental problem is not with the company, but with investors understanding its business.


I sat down with Riccitiello for an exclusive interview at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference, where he said he's in the process of shifting EA from being about packaged goods to digital revenues.


The industry's focus on NPD's packaged game sales numbers is misguided, and overlooks the massive growth the company's seeing in digital revenue, Riccitiello said.


With a number of social and mobile gaming acquisitions in its arsenal, EA said it has found success on the Facebook social games platform, as well as Apple's games store. One key weapon in EA's arsenal is its scale — a quarter of a billion consumers move through its networks. It mines all that data of which games all those people play to drive them to other EA titles.


What about EA's exposure to Europe? Riccitiello said they're not seeing any softness translate to game sales: People may skip a vacation but they'll stay home and play video games.


One place we will see economic weakness have an impact is on M+A in the space. EA has made a slew of acquisitions over the past few years, but Riccitiello pointed out that while gaming stocks have come way down, the valuations of gaming startups are still sky high. But he said they don't need to make acquisitions to compete with Zynga, which is increasingly what he's focused on.




Pachter is referring to the reason EA's stock isn't lifting off. The elongated console cycle has created a rift where Pachter believes big publishers are stuck in a rut and suffering from sequalitis. I call that bull crap.


According to Pachter, Riccitiello honestly doesn't know why EA's stock price is dipping and his response to Pachter was that..."Yeah, but, in 2008, when we said it’ll be a three-year turnaround, I thought new consoles were coming out in 2010-2011". Pachter believes that sequelitis is what hurt games like Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero and that it's affecting EA's bottom line.


All right, enough talking about this like Pachter or Riccitiello have a clue about the gaming industry. Let's cover some facts first.


Fact: You don't need new consoles to make good games. The elongated console cycle wouldn't be so bad if big publishers made good games instead of trying to rely on rehashes, sequels and blockbuster wannabes. A good game is not determined by the amount of polygons a character model has or the amount of ambient light that shines through a virtual glass pane window.


Fact: Indie studios are churning out games that are making a killing while utilizing today's generation of hardware. Games like Fez, Braid, Limbo, MineCraft, Terraria, Team Fortress, DayZ, Portal, Q.U.B.E. and Amnesia: Dark Descent have all done well with little or no marketing. You don't need new consoles to make new, fun or innovative games. It all depends on how you use what you have.


Fact: A lot of the sequels that are bombing or underperforming on the market are retreads of games we've already played, including but not limited to Halo, Call of Duty, Gears of War, Need for Speed and Uncharted. "Me-too" rip-offs are exactly that, and the longer top publishers keep trying to milk the same ideas over and over again the more gamers will become less interested in the product. Unfortunately we've seen studios such as Black Rock, Codemaster's Red River studio, Radical Entertainment and other studios fold under similar circumstances.


This is not to mention things like Online Passes, the over-abundance of DLC and other shaky shenanigans of the sort, contribute to a lack of consumer confidence.


EA could easily redeem themselves by focusing on smaller but more innovative games; projects like the original Dead Space and Mirror's Edge marked a positive path for the company. Their partnership program for pushing out indie titles like Shank and Warp could prove to move the company into a better light with both consumers and investors.


However, running their reputation into the ground with over-bloated and obtuse marketing schemes while also trying to talk up their upcoming games as if they're the greatest thing ever (even though many are just retreads) it does nothing to boost consumer confidence, especially in the core community.



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John Riccitiello is just trying to say whatever he can to not spook investors. He knows he is full of bananas, and we all know that too, so giving excuses like this only diminishes his credibility even further. If I was on the board of directors at EA, I would ask him to resign. And if he refuses, then he would be forced to resign by a board vote.


As I posted here, the company went from $61.40/share, when he took office as CEO in 2007, to $11.36/share today. He is a major problem for the company and he needs to be ousted.

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From what I have seen in my own work life; if their an idiot and can't do the job then lets promote them... I am sure its not always the case but have seen it more times then not. It really is sad as I used to support EA but I simply have no more tolerance for stupid. None.

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I don't know, they are kinda like that necessary evil for me these days. No other publisher even comes close to bring me what I want in a game, that's not to say EA crosses all their T's and dots all their I's. They regularly fall short of my expectations, but they have a lot of games under their belt that I largely enjoy.


The Dead Space series is great, even with the wonky controls in the first one. Command and Conquer Generals, I'm very excited for too, along with the next Sim City. They have a lot of developers under their umbrella, that I want to succeed, and to just say, you know what I'm done with EA isn't realistic.


When it comes down to it, THQ isn't even on the same playing field when it comes to FPS design,Treyarch's COD just isn't what I personally want in a FPS, despite being hugely successful. So what am I left with, the remnants of the BF franchise I love. They bring some of the things I love, and all I can do is be vocal in communities like this about the features that they need to bring back to the franchise. I still hugely enjoy BF3, but it could of been so much more.

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