Investors aren’t excited about Take-Two Interactive‘s (TTWO -0.54%) future, judging by the stock’s path in 2022. The shares are trailing a falling market this year as investors worry about a growth hangover hitting the video game industry. Take-Two is also enduring the extra challenges from its huge purchase of Zynga.
These issues threaten to pressure the developer’s short-term sales trends into 2023. However, there are many reasons to like the stock today. Let’s look at the three biggest ones.
1. The portfolio is huge
Take-Two’s Zynga acquisition might bring headaches as management works to integrate the company. But the purchase immediately delivered the type of complete portfolio that can compete with the likes of Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard.
To its core roster of hit sports brands (from the 2K franchises) and adventure and shooter titles (from Rockstar), the portfolio now features almost two dozen top-grossing mobile games from Zynga.
The casual segment is projected to grow quickly over the next several years, and that’s a big reason why EA is so excited about the niche. Investors can expect Take-Two to benefit from this trend as well.
2. The market is attractive
The video game market had about 3 billion players around the world as of 2021, making it among the biggest global entertainment markets. Gaming is gaining popularity over time and has become a huge passive entertainment option, too. Over 600 million hours of gameplay streaming occurred last year, Take-Two estimates, and that industry niche has a long runway for growth ahead that complements the core business of marketing games to players.
The good news is that Take-Two has all the resources it needs to capitalize on these trends. Its pipeline of content releases over the next three years is packed with dozens of launches spanning brands like Grand Theft Auto, Borderlands, and WWE. Shareholders can expect these launches to attract lots of gamer engagement, but also a growing audience in other digital entertainment niches.
3. Video games as a service
Take-Two projects that its recurring revenue will more than double this year as that segment accounts for nearly 80% of total sales. Gamers are increasingly enthusiastic about making commitments to a title or franchise that spans many months.
That shift is adding value to the video game business and making it appear more like a software as a service. Not only does this approach boost margins over time, but it also adds stability at a time when demand might be slowing. In other words, Take-Two isn’t dependent on sales around one or two big launch windows to make or break its fiscal year.
With Rockstar games, the development home to the Grand Theft Auto franchise, 2K, and now Zynga, Take-Two finally has all the firepower it needs to compete with the industry’s biggest players. There are big risks ahead, including with the integration of Zynga and a potential recession that pressures demand. But the positives seem to outweigh those short-term risks.
If you’re looking for exposure to the digital entertainment industry, Take-Two should be on a short list of attractive stocks to consider.
Demitri Kalogeropoulos has positions in Activision Blizzard. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Activision Blizzard and Take-Two Interactive. The Motley Fool recommends Electronic Arts and recommends the following options: long January 2023 $115 calls on Take-Two Interactive. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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