Microsoft stock may already be benefiting from the “Halo” effect. It’s up 2 percent at last check, to $29.24.
Early this morning, Goldman Sachs predicted a “stellar release” that would give the stock a bump, similar to the 2 percent gain seen when “Halo 2” launched in November 2004.
Its report — headlined “Halo 3’s Master Chief to battle the Covenant and stock weakness” — told clients the game should finally push the company’s entertainment and devices group into the black.
Specifically, it forecast at least $170 million in sales driven by “Halo 3.” There could be another $50 million, the firm said, because of the mix of higher-priced versions Microsoft is selling and limited competition since “Grand Theft Auto 4” was delayed:
“Our base case for ‘Halo 3’ pushes the segment into slight profitability for the quarter with software sales and reduced hardware costs driving full year profitability. Both revenue upside and profitability should be a positive for the stock.”