Electronic Arts loss of Juventus deal a 'non-issue,' says Jefferies
Shares of Electronic Arts traded down 3% yesterday as main competitor Pro Evolution Soccer announced an exclusive licensing deal with popular Italian football club Juventus, Jefferies analyst Alex Giaimo tells investors in a research note. Importantly, the does not include exclusive rights to the players themselves, meaning all Juventus players and attributes will still be featured in FIFA 20, adds the analyst. Electronic Arts released a statement confirming the news, and announced a new club named "Piemonte Calcio", which will essentially be the fill-in team name for Juventus, notes Giaimo. The analyst views yesterday's news as a "non-issue." The company's FIFA franchise has built up enough goodwill over the past 26 years, making it hard to believe loss of rights to one club would be enough to turn off potential player, says Giaimo. The analyst, despite believing the Juventus concerns are overblown, keeps a Hold rating on Electronic Arts due to "mixed Apex sentiment."