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Pachter: Holiday release schedule will hurt Ubisoft

Wedbush downgrades French publisher from "Strong Buy" to "Buy"

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter has released a report downgrading Ubisoft shares from "Strong Buy" to "Buy," citing a crowded holiday season release schedule.

While the report indicates that Wedbush believes Ubisoft's fiscal year 2010 product line compares "quite favorably" to the publisher's succesful releases in fiscal year 2008, timing its releases during the competitive holiday season will limit its potential revenue gains.

According to the report, shares must grow by 23 per cent in the second half of the year in order for Ubisoft to hit its revenue target of EUR 1.1 billion.

Ubisoft's fiscal year 2010 lineup includes Assassin's Creed 2, Ghost Recon 4, Splinter Cell Conviction, Avatar, Red Steel 2, I Am Alive, and R.U.S.E., with the majority of these scheduled for a holiday release window. Wedbush believes that this lineup is strong enough to generate market share gains, though its optimism is "somewhat tempered" due to the holiday release schedule revealed yesterday.

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Frank Cifaldi