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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

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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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