Kyle Bass and Jim Simons Bullish on EA Sports
Jim Simons upped his stake by 150% last quarter.
EA publishes the popular sports titles Madden Football and FIFA Soccer. It also produces the hit action video game Medal of Honor.
So why have these two savvy investors loaded up on shares of EA?
First of all it should be noted that EA is not a best-in-breed company. Activision (ATVI) has most of the blockbuster titles including World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo, and Call of Duty. If you have a teenager, you are familiar with these games which are addictive.
However, it does have Sim City which has been a hit. In 2013, EA will also release Crysis 3, Dead Space 3, and a new Command and Conquer game.
One thing that EA has that is particularly valuable is FIFA soccer. Internationally, this may be the most popular game in the world. If you walk by a video game parlor in Hong Kong or Warsaw, chances are the patrons are playing FIFA Soccer.
EA has also diversified into social gaming on Facebook (FB) and the iPad. I've experimented with the sports games on the iPad and it was a fun experience. Buying a soccer or football game for under $5 is a bargain that most gamers will agree with.
The real question is how will EA integrate all of their acquisitions in the social and mobile sectors? The company bought PopCap Games, the developer of top-notch online titles such as Bejeweled, Plants Vs. Zombies and Zuma.
From a valuation perspective the company only sells for 1.1X sales. Of course since it is a digital content creator, the company has no book value.
There are a lot of detractors to EA as short interest swelled by 61% over the past two reporting periods. Short interest now accounts for a healthy 5.4% of the EA's float.