Riot Games Stock: Investing In 3 Top Games Companies

Learn How You Can Buy Stock in the Chinese Company That Owns Riot Games & Discover 3 Even Better Alternatives

Investors are interested in Riot Games because of its massive multiplayer online game (MMOG), League of Legends, with over 115 million monthly players. The game is so popular that teams compete in 12 international leagues for the annual League of Legends Championship.

Riot Games Stock: How to Invest In Great Games Companies
Riot Games Stock: How to Invest In Great Games Companies

League of Legends generates over $1.8 billion in revenue. The highest League of Legends annual revenue was $2.1 billion in 2017.

One League of Legends variant, Wild Rift, generated $64.7 million on mobile devices between October 2020 and July 2021. Over 46.3 million people downloaded and played Wild Rift between October 2020 and July 2021. League of Legends is so popular Netflix (NFLX) launched an animated series, “Arcane,” based on the game.

Riot Games Stock

You cannot buy stock in Riot Games directly because Riot Games is not a publicly listed company. You can buy stock in the company that owns Riot Games, Tencent Holdings ADR (OTCMKTS: TCHEY), as Riot Games is a subsidiary of Tencent Holdings.

Riot Games Stock Price

Riot Games has no stock price because the organization is not listed on any stock exchange. The owner of Riot Games, Tencent Holdings, has a stock price of $37 in 2024, which is 60% lower than its all-time high of $98, reached in February 2021.

Tencent Holdings’ stock price is down 40% this year because of mounting political pressure in the USA and the continuing Chinese governmental crackdown on excessive technology firms’ profits.

Riot Games Stock Symbol

Riots Games’ stock symbol is the ticker of its parent company, Tencent Holdings. In the USA, Riot Games trades under the symbol OTCMKTS: TCHEY. OTCMKTS means that the stock trades on the Over-The-Counter markets. Tencent stock also trades on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong under the ticker 0700. HK.

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Tencent, Epic Games & Riot Games Stock

Tencent’s ownership of Riot Games is in doubt. There is political pressure in the United States to force the China-based Tencent to sell Riot Games and a 40% stake in Fortnite developer Epic Games.

The Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States is reviewing Tencent’s ownership of Riot Games and Epic Games. Some American politicians and intellectuals claim Tencent’s ownership of the games companies threatens national security.

Tencent is negotiating with the Committee to keep its American holdings.

3 Top Investment Alternatives to Riot Games

Today’s stock market offers many excellent alternatives to Riot Games and Tencent Holdings. One advantage to these alternatives is they are American companies that are less vulnerable to the growing tensions between the United States and China.

You might consider three great alternatives, considering Tencent Holding’s stock price is 50% lower and the company’s headwinds at home in China and the USA.

These companies trade on US stock exchanges and are some of the best alternatives to Riot Games.

1. Activision Blizzard Now Owned By Microsoft

Microsoft is one of the world’s largest gaming companies and the world’s biggest and most famous software company. Microsoft is the fourth-largest gaming company globally, with $11.6 billion in gaming revenues.

Microsoft has recently acquired Activision Blizzard in a prominent takeover. This move grants Microsoft ownership of renowned game franchises like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush.

The acquisition not only strengthens Microsoft’s foothold in the gaming sector but also broadens its revenue sources. By securing some of the most prosperous titles in the market, Microsoft gains a competitive edge over other gaming enterprises.

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The popular Xbox game consoles make Microsoft a major player in gaming. Game Daily estimates that Xbox series sales grew by 16% to 1.35 million in the second quarter of 2021. Xbox was the third best-selling game console after Sony and Nintendo in the second quarter of 2021.

Statista estimates Microsoft sold 48.69 million Xbox One consoles between December 2017 and November 2020. Microsoft sold 85.8 million units of its earlier console, the Xbox 360, Statista estimates. They discontinued the Xbox 360 in 2017.

Microsoft is one of America’s most lucrative companies. It reported a quarterly gross profit of $32.161 billion and a quarterly operating income of $19.095 billion on June 30, 2021. Those numbers grew from $25.694 billion in quarterly gross profit and $13.407 billion in quarterly operating income on June 30, 2020.

Get an Up-To-Date Microsoft Inc. Research Report From Stock Rover
Get an Up-To-Date Microsoft Inc. Research Report From Stock Rover

Download a Free Microsoft Stock Research Report From Stock Rover

Microsoft’s quarterly revenues grew from $38.033 billion on June 30, 2020, to $46.152 billion on June 30, 2021. According to Stock Rover, Microsoft’s revenues grew by 21.35% in the quarter ending June 30, 2021. Microsoft is a pandemic-proof company. It experienced six quarters of double-digit revenue growth between March 31, 2020, and June 30, 2021.

Microsoft is considered a value investment and a growth stock because it generates enormous amounts of cash. According to Stock Rover, the company reported a quarterly operating cash flow of $22.710 billion on June 30, 2021. The quarterly operating cash flow rose from $18.673 billion on June 30, 2020.

2. Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Most people will not consider Apple a games company. However, games data platform Newzoo ranks Apple as the third-largest games company by revenue, after Tencent Holdings and Sony.

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Newzoo estimates Apple generated $3.758 billion in games revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020. Activision Blizzard generated $2.108 billion in games revenue, and Tencent Holdings generated $7.182 billion in games revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Apple generates revenue by selling games through its App Store. The Wall Street Journal estimates Apple made $8.5 billion in annual operating profits from gaming and $10.95 billion in App Store gaming revenues.

Float is the term Warren Buffett uses to describe the cash companies receive from regular subscriptions. Buffett used the float from insurance premiums, utility payments, and newspaper subscriptions to build Berkshire Hathaway.

Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.B) owns 907.56 million shares, a 5.5% stake in Apple Inc on June 30, 2021.

Stock Rover Research estimates that Apple is still undervalued with a Margin of Safety of +23%.

One advantage to Apple is that it does not own the games. Apple makes money no matter what games are popular because many players access the games through Apple devices. CEO Tim Cook claimed 1.65 billion Apple devices worldwide, including over one billion active iPhones, in January 2021.

That means Apple makes money no matter what game is popular. If Fortnite’s popularity collapses, Apple will profit from whatever game replaces Fortnite as the fan favorite. Apple offers a high margin of safety because it is immune to the changing tastes of players and fads.

I consider Apple the best alternative to Riot Games because of the dividend and the enormous amounts of cash the company generates. Those seeking an alternative to Tencent Holdings must investigate Apple (AAPL).

Take2Interactive Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO)

Other game publishers to investigate include Take2games. Take2 publishes games based on many licensed properties, including the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Marvel Superheroes.

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Take2 owns Rockstar Games, which publishes the legendary games franchises Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Revolver. Grand Theft Auto is one of the most lucrative game franchises ever. Statista estimates Grand Theft Auto V had 214,900 concurrent players on Steam in August 2022. Tweak Town estimates that Grand Theft Auto V generated over $6.4 billion in sales between September 2013 and August 2021.

Take2 Interactive makes some money from its games. The company reported $813.35 million in quarterly revenues, a gross profit of $480.94 million, and a quarterly operating income of $170.47 million on June 30, 2021.

Take2 survived the pandemic without borrowing. It reported six quarters of negative financing cash flows between March 31, 2020, and June 30, 2021.

Stock Rover Research estimates that Take2 Interactive is overvalued with a Margin of Safety of -13%, meaning TTWO is not expected to generate enough cash flow to justify its current stock price.

Take2 shares pay no dividend, unlike Apple and Activision Blizzard. Yet, its shares are more expensive than those stocks.

Riot Games’ owners Tencent Holdings, Activision Blizzard, and Apple show that games are a good investment.

Tencent/ Riot Games Stock Value

Tencent Holdings is one of the world’s largest social media and digital content companies.

Tencent’s largest subsidiary is the Chinese social media platform WeChat or Weixin. Statista estimates WeChat has over 1.242 billion users, and over 500 million people use WeChat’s search function every month. Tencent’s other social media solution, the instant messenger QQ, has over 639 million Chinese users.

Tencent is one of the world’s largest fintech companies. TechCrunch estimates WeChat Pay processes over 1.6 trillion yuan ($250 billion) annually. WeChat management claims 240 million people have used its “payments score” feature, which powers consumer credit solutions. WeChat’s enterprise or business version has over 130 million active users monthly.

After Riot Games, Tencent’s most valuable American holding is its 40% stake in Epic Games. Epic Games claims its Fortnite game has over 350 million registered players, and 15.3 million people participated in Fortnite’s largest live event.

Tencent Holdings makes money. The company’s revenues have tripled from 2016 to 2023.

Is Tencent Holdings (Riot Games) a Value Investment?

Many people might consider Tencent Holdings a value investment because of its low stock price, down 50% from its all-time high in February 2021.

But this would be wrong. Stock Rover calculates the margin of safety for Tencent Holdings to be -17%; this means Tencent is still overvalued by 17% versus its future cash flow.

Tencent/Riot games Stock Dividend

Tencent Holdings (TCEHY) pays dividends, unlike other social media companies. TCEHY shares will pay a dividend yield of 0.73% in 2023. The Tencent dividend payout has been consistent over the last six years.

Headwinds for Tencent/Riot Games Stock

The Chinese government is trying to restrict video game use. Reuters reports the National Press and Publication Administration limited MMOG play for people under 18 to three hours a week in August 2021. It is not clear if the restriction is enforceable, however.

The regulation forced Tencent to restrict the time and money children could spend on games such as Honor of Kings. Tencent executives claim they will work with authorities to comply with the regulations.

The restrictions could hurt Tencent because Honor of Kings was the world’s top-grossing game over the last three years.

The MMOG restriction is the latest round in a growing conflict between tech companies and the Chinese government. Some Chinese officials fear the growing power of tech companies and want to restrict them.

Cynics, however, will wonder if the real motivation is to shake down tech companies for cash. The real motivation of Communist Party regulators could be cash rather than concern for China’s youth.

Tencent Holdings stock offers both high value and enormous risk. Investors who want to cash in on video games could make money with Tencent Holdings. Yet, the company’s base in China could limit future growth and revenues.


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