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Teen Interest In Console Gaming Good For EA, Activision, Take-Two

A survey of U.S. teens showed interest and spending on console video games is climbing, boding well for game publishers Activision Blizzard (ATVI), Electronic Arts (EA) and Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO).

Piper Jaffray surveyed 6,500 teenagers nationwide for its 31st semiannual teen survey. Of more than 4,000 video game respondents, 78% own a current-generation game console or expect to in the next two years, up from 73% in the fall survey.

Plus, teen video game spending intentions reached new highs in the survey.

Piper analyst Michael Olson, in the investment bank’s research report, reiterated his overweight ratings on Activision, EA, Take-Two Interactive and retailer GameStop (GME).

Teens in the survey expect to spend, on average, $214 this year on video games, up from an 11-year average of $152.

“The rising level of interest and ownership in consoles is a clear positive for the game publishers (ATVI, EA, TTWO) and GameStop (GME) as it speaks to the console cycle’s potential to drive software growth in 2016 and 2017,” Olson said in the report Tuesday.

Male teens surveyed said they allocate 20% of their overall spending on food, 15% on clothing, and 13% on video games.

“Amazingly, video games ranks higher than cars (10%) and electronics (9%),” Olson said. “We believe this is yet another sign that video game consoles are not losing mindshare and, in fact, may be more popular than ever.”

Current-generation game consoles include Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox One, Nintendo’s (NTDOY) Wii U and Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation 4.

Olson anticipates strong spending on video games in the next 12 months, driven by an uptick in the overall quality and quantity of major games. These include new titles in such popular franchises as Activision’s “Call of Duty” and EA’s “Titanfall.”

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