LATE MOVERS: Game maker Activision Blizzard sinks on reported job cuts

Tesla Inc, Loews Corp, Restaurant Brands, and Avis Budget Group are also in focus Monday afternoon

Tesla sign
Two analysts were bullish on the electric-car maker's shares Monday

Bloomberg reports that video game giant Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) plans to announce job cuts Tuesday in the face of slowing sales. The layoffs, which could number in the hundreds, are part of a restructuring aimed at centralizing functions and boosting profit, according to the report. Activision employed 9,800 people at the end of 2017.  The game maker acknowledged on a November conference call of flat-lining or declining sales among some key games, such as Overwatch and Hearthstone. Analysts expect Activision’s sales to decline by about 2% this year, to $7.28 billion.

The news sent shares down more than 7% to close Monday at $40.11.

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares got an upgrade Monday from an analyst who says the electric-vehicle maker will face far fewer concerns in 2019. Canaccord Genuity's Jed Dorsheimer lifted the shares to Buy from Hold and raised his 12-month price target to $450 from $330 -- a 44% premium from where Tesla stock currently trades. Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives, a longtime Tesla bull, said in a note Monday that Tesla is shifting from a production story to a demand story now that the first Model 3 cars have arrived in Europe.

Tesla stock added 2.3% to close at $312.84 Monday.

Loews Corp (NYSE: L) today reported fourth-quarter a net loss of $0.53 per share, compared with a profit of $1.43 per share the prior-year period. The results widely missed analysts' call for a profit of $0.53. The decrease was blamed partly on a lack of earnings momentum at the insurance company, according to Zacks.

Loews shares fell 6.1% to finish the day at $44.56.

Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE: QSR) left a good taste in investors' mouths after the operator of Burger King and Popeye's issued favorable quarterly earnings and fattened its quarterly dividend by a nickel per share to $0.50. That brings forward-looking yield up to more than 3%.

QSR stock finished 1.6% higher to $63.71.

Avis Budget Group Inc (NYSE:CAR) shares accelerated after an upgrade by Goldman Sachs, according to CNBC. Analyst David Tamberrino raised the shares to Buy from Sell and hiked his 12-month price target to $35 from $30, which implies 36% percent upside. The analyst cited the car-rental company's attractive valuation.

Shares popped 7.4% to close at $27.58.

-- Written by Suzette Parmley

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