Activision Shuts Down Santa Monica Studio Luxoflux, Stocks Up

We here at FishbowlLA aren’t much for economics. A gig at the Wall Street Journal probably isn’t in our future. But this struck us as rather odd. Yesterday, at 5:03PM, the L.A. Times reported that video game company Activision plans to shutter its Santa Monica development studio Luxoflux, laying off about 200 people. The move wasn’t entirely surprising considering Activision posted a $286 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2009. What the Times didn’t note, however, were the findings of this Wall Street Journal story from eight hours earlier.

Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) shares got a boost Thursday after the video-game publisher reported better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter and analysts predicted a strong year despite the company’s highly conservative outlook.

In recent trading, Activision was up nearly 8% to $10.89.

Interesting. Despite huge losses, stocks were up 8% on the day, hours before the studio closure was announced. The Journal attributes the stock’s surprising rise to “the fact that analysts widely expect the company to easily beat its numbers for the year, given a strong pipeline of new titles expected.”

But as we all know, Wall Street loves a good layoff.

Think the news might have leaked early? Just sayin’.