All the Video Game Companies are cashing in, except Atari
Atari, Inc. (Public, NASDAQ:ATAR) was King in the early 1980's but now with debt and lack of new creative game titles, shares stand at $1.66. Every Game Company stock has been making news and cashing in: Activision (ATVI), Midway (MWY), Take-Two (TTWO), Nintendo (NTDOY), and even Microsoft (MSFT).
So why can't the original game maker come back to life? How is it that even late comer Bill Gates and Co. can throw a new game system and make Master Chief more popular than Harry Pitfall?
Activision which was once a game studio that put out Pitfall for Atari back in the day, now commands a $7.7 billion market cap and since Nov 26th its shares have surged 36% to $26.50 on the Vivendi deal. Midway shares just jumped 47% since Dec 4th and Take-Two is up 21% since Nov 27th. The Wii has taken Nintendo to the promise land and the Halo series and the XBOX 360 has put Microsoft back into the $30 share level. Then there's the company that started it all, Atari, they can hardly finance their day to day operations. Their latest game title is yet another play on Godzilla. GODZILLA UNLEASHED for crying out loud? Did anyone question the management or the creative team that thought up this outdated and lame concept!?
"Okay guys I got it. Let's bring back Godzilla. Now I know it sucked in that Matthew Broderick version a few years ago but hear me out, this time we let the guy playing the game actually be Godzilla. Huh, huh, you with me! (a series of nodding heads around the room)."
Godzilla is about as cool to gamers as the recent Hanna Montana fad is to them, it's not. Godzilla is played out and now that Shiny Entertainment is no longer at Atari, they have no creative juices.
The only thing Atari has going for them lately is their Classic Atari game titles, and their new PSP game'ATARI CLASSICS EVOLVED' has great Matrix like cover art, but the all the games are now just a click away by a Flash version hosted on a website near you. I really think this is their only hope for the Holiday season, because it's not Godzilla done over again or DragonBall Z, it's all about the retro games.
I love Atari, but I love the old games and these days if you don't have a hit title, you should not be a company with shareholders, just stay in your Mom's garage.
So what's Atari been up to in the past few months while everyone else has been kicking ass?
Just the usual restructuring initiatives and paying out $3.5 million to settle a dispute with FUNimation Productions Ltd. They got entered into an amendment to the senior secured credit facility with BlueBay High Yield Investments S.A.R.L. to increase its borrowing capacity under the facility to $14 million from $10 million.
Atari's lack of revenue and net profit is headed toward a black hole:
|In Millions of USD (except for per share items)
||12 months Ending 2007-03-31||12 months Ending 2006-03-31||12 months Ending 2005-03-31||12 months Ending 2004-03-31||9 months Ending 2003-03-31||12 months Ending 2002-06-30|
|Other Revenue, Total||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Cost of Revenue, Total||72.63||133.60||200.24||260.07||197.55||212.38|
These days, if you don't have a hit franchise or a great game in the works, you're a nobody.
Activision's Guitar Hero, Microsoft's Halo's, Take-Two's BioShock and Grand Theft Auto series, and Atari with their old played out games?
No hit, no money, and no love from Wall Street.
Atari needs to take the last bit of money they do have and get their brightest and least under paid guys working for them and ask them "Do you guys have any new ideas?" Whatever they say, is more valuable then any Atari Inc. Officer, VP, director or manager has to offer because as of today, Atari is worthless.
Article by Frank Lara Jr. Contributor at TheStockMasters.com
Disclaimer: The Author does not hold any positions or shares in the securities mentioned in this publication.
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