Switch sales are going to surge as Nintendo rolls out its new Pocket Monsters Smash Brothers games ahead of the the holiday season, according to Morgan Stanley.
These first-party titles that are solely for Nintendo consoles give the Japanese game maker a key advantage — a strong pricing power — over its global competitors such as PlayStation4 and Xbox One, and will help lift Nintendo shares over the long term, Morgan Stanley analysts Masahiro Ono and Yui Yasumoto wrote in a note sent out to clients on Monday.
"Margins on 1st party software are high, as these margins are driven up further by digital downloads, we think the validity of valuation comparisons with powerful US publishers is stronger in the case of Nintendo than for a con- sole maker such as Sony," said the two analysts from Morgan Stanley.
They view the recent ¥37,232 (about R4,800) share price as a near-term bottom and say shares could hit ¥51,000 (R6,600) — 38% above where shares were trading on Tuesday.
Ono and Yasumoto stated that the Switch has a longer life cycle than the company's Wii generation but will match Wii's peak annual sales, because they see an effective "one person, one console" penetration strategy that brings 3DS user migration to Switch and Switch Online's popularity among younger users.
"The strategy for Switch is radically different from that of the Wii generation – which was sold bundled with Will Sports in Europe and the US, and tapped demand from adult users – making it tough to appeal to child users with a console price tag of $300 (R4,300) in the off season, and we expected Switch demand to be particularly heavily skewed towards the Oct-Dec holiday season," they said, reiterating that the current sluggishness in Switch sell-throughs won't have an extensive impact on Nintendo's share price.
Morgan Stanley is not the only Wall Street firm that's bullish on the Japanese video-game maker. Of the 23 analysts who show coverage on Bloomberg, 20 have a "buy" rating and just three have a "sell."
Atul Goyal at Jefferies, who has a ¥65,100 (about R8,000) price target, believes shares could soar 80% even if Switch sales are flat.
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