Take-Two Interactive (TTWO 1.81%) has a new fan on Wall Street. The video game giant's shares were upgraded on Tuesday and assigned a $170 price target by Gerrick Johnson, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets. Hitting that level would translate into a 23% stock price return from current prices.
Johnson highlighted Take-Two's widening content portfolio, which includes sports franchises like the surging NBA 2K brand, as helping the company's growth. That success was clear from the game publisher's recent earnings report, which showed a 49% spike in net bookings compared to a 21% increase for rival Activision Blizzard.
Take-Two still lacks its bigger peer's steady sales base, and that's a key reason why management projected a slight sales decline for the fiscal year that just started. Activision, on the other hand, is targeting growth this year.
The owner of the Grand Theft Auto and Borderland franchises is purposefully holding back on its release schedule while the next-generation console transition gets started.
Still, with over 100 titles set for release over the next five years, Take-Two has a good shot at adding at least a few more enduring hits to its portfolio. While it's anyone's guess where the stock might go over the next several quarters, this attractive business could generate solid returns for investors willing to hold shares well past the launch of new consoles from Microsoft and Sony in the coming months.