Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



My Money Is on This Entertainment Company

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Last summer, I took a giant leap of faith. Instead of suggesting where to invest -- and then never revisiting my original thesis -- I pledged to put my own money behind 10 stocks. My goal was to build the World's Greatest Retirement Portfolio -- and attempt to hold the stocks for at least three years. Almost one year through, and the portfolio is dominating the S&P 500 -- outperforming the index by 18 percentage points!

Today, I'm happy to state that after almost a year, I'm just as bullish on one of those 10 -- Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI  ) -- as I was a year ago. I'll show you how my pick has performed, why I'm still bullish, and what I see moving forward for the company. At the end, I'll offer you access to a special free report that has three more ideas for the perfect retirement portfolio.

Reviewing my thesis
There were three big reasons behind my original recommendation of Activision Blizzard. The first was the fact that the company was transitioning to a subscription-based model that provided much steadier streams of revenue. As far as subscriptions go, results have been mixed. The Blizzard side of the company famously lost thousands of subscribers over the past year. That has been somewhat mitigated by the Activision side of the company offering a popular subscription model to the Call of Duty Elite franchise.

The second reason I was bullish on Activision was the company's opportunities abroad. Chinese Internet juggernaut (Nasdaq: SOHU  ) set up a subsidiary solely for the purpose of gaming -- Changyou -- so there's some serious competition in Asia. Things, however, seem to be going well there for Activision. In order to counter Sohu and distribute its content abroad, Activision recently renewed an agreement with NetEase (Nasdaq: NTES  ) -- which has access to 480 million users in Asia -- for another three years.

Finally, I was a big fan of the company's rock-solid balance sheet. Nothing has changed there, as Activision has a balance sheet that sports $3.5 billion in cash and no debt.

When you take the see-saw of these three factors into account, and include the company's dividend, a $4,000 investment has returned about $150, as opposed to the roughly $70 an investment in the S&P 500 would have gotten.

ATVI Chart

ATVI data by YCharts

Why I'm still bullish
I'll be the first to admit, the defection of subscribers from the World of Warcraft franchise was concerning -- but Activision Blizzard is more than a one-trick pony. The company recently released what hopes to be the next big online game: Diablo III. Though there may have been initial hiccups with providing the game to users, demand is there, and I expect it to show up on the company's income statement. Then, of course, there's always the latest iteration of Call of Duty to look forward to.

Furthermore, I'm encouraged by the company's continued attempts to take the Activision side of its business -- which has traditionally focused on making games for consoles -- toward a subscription model that guarantees steadier revenue streams. I'm also heartened by the fact that though Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: EA  ) tried to dethrone World of Warcraft with its Star Wars: The Old Republic, the jury of gamers seems to have sided with World of Warcraft.

Finally, though I don't think mobile gaming specialists like Zynga (Nasdaq: ZNGA  ) pose a huge threat to Activision -- playing on a computer or console is fundamentally different than playing a game on a mobile device -- it's nice to hear rumors about the company considering an entrance into the sphere. Whether it happens or not isn't exactly fundamental to my thesis, but it's something to keep an eye on.

A solid bet for your retirement
You know where I'm putting my money, but if you aren't the gaming type and still want suggestions for your retirement portfolio, I suggest you check out our latest special free report: 3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich. Inside, you'll get the names of three stalwart business that promise to be dominating their fields -- and rewarding shareholders -- for years to come. Get your copy of the report today, absolutely free!

Fool contributor Brian Stoffel owns shares of Activision Blizzard. You can follow him on Twitter, where he goes by TMFStoffel.

The Fool owns shares of and has written calls on Activision Blizzard. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Activision Blizzard,, and NetEase, and creating a synthetic long position in Activision Blizzard. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (6)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1892840, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/27/2016 7:21:00 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,169.68 -29.65 -0.16%
S&P 500 2,133.04 -6.39 -0.30%
NASD 5,215.97 -34.29 -0.65%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/27/2016 4:00 PM
ATVI $43.72 Down -0.72 -1.62%
Activision Blizzar… CAPS Rating: *****
EA $82.72 Up +0.14 +0.17%
Electronic Arts CAPS Rating: ***
NTES $267.05 Up +1.31 +0.49%
NetEase CAPS Rating: ****
SOHU $38.25 Down -1.47 -3.70% CAPS Rating: ***
ZNGA $2.78 Down -0.04 -1.42%
Zynga CAPS Rating: *