They got game. They also got James. Activison Blizzard ($ATVI) stock is nearly a year past its peak but the stock has bounced back from lows hit earlier in 2019. Still, shares are down more than 30% over the last 12 months.

Analysts tracked by Zacks Investment Research are looking for EPS of $0.20 when the company reports earnings August 8. Now, following a sustained run in markets for broader benchmarks like the S&P 500, the gaming company's alternative data is beginning to show encouraging trends. 

For one, Activision Blizzard job postings surged forward in the second quarter rising 35% from 211 to 285, according to our data. It's a signal the company could be preparing to launch new games - especially taking into consideration that postings for Engineers (not shown) have grown as well throughout the quarter. 

We've got some other indicators on trends around Activision hiring - for example, they picked up this handsome gentleman, our very (formerly) own James Mattone, who's decamped to Los Angeles to bring his journalistic talents to Activision's gaming reporting platform. Finally - that Activision Blizzard first appears to have first reduced, and then scaled up, headcount is another positive signal - certainly moreso than a continuation of reduced staffing. 

Potential factors that could hamper Activision Blizzard include the gaming industry's relationship with brick-and-mortar businesses and malls as part of retailing - but Activision has also worked to expand its footprint into handsets, with mobile products like King and Candy. 

Other key indicators for earnings include whether or not the company talks up a potential sequel to its Overwatch gaming platform - which has seen rumors swirl to this effect. It would be a big boost for the franchise - launched with its initial game in 2016 - that has seen some social media activity around the otherwise wildly popular brand begin to slide in recent months, which our last chart tracks. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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