Online Gaming Stocks Seen Ready To Score As NFL Kicks Off

The reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday in the 2021 NFL Kickoff Game set for 8:20 PM ET, with Tom Brady's team a 7.5-point favorite in the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook. Macquarie analyst Chad Beynon sees tonight's kickoff as a "major catalyst" for the online gaming group and recommends investors own the group heading into the start of the new NFL season.

MAJOR CATALYST: Ahead of the Buccaneers vs. Cowboys game, Macquarie analyst Chad Beynon told investors that he sees Thursday night's kickoff of the National Football League season as a "major catalyst" for the online gaming group. Internet gaming names have rallied during the last month, and this should continue as investors become more comfortable with upcoming revenue estimates, Beynon contended. He thinks total addressable market is the most important driver of the group and that new features such as in-play betting, microbetting and same game parleys "will be a positive surprise." The analyst pointed out that other key issues to monitor are the performance of in-house versus third-party platforms and market share. He estimates that football accounts for 35%-40% of the annual revenues, although most of this comes in the fourth quarter.

Regarding M&A, Beynon expects more acquisitions following recent deals headlines by the Penn National Gaming (PENN)- Score Media (SCR) and DraftKings (DKNG)-Golden Nugget Online (GNOG) acquisition. MGM (MGM) has previously voiced a desire to consolidate BetMGM and a Caesars William Hill International divesture appears imminent, the analyst contended. Beynon has Outperform ratings on International Game Technology (IGT), Full House Resorts (FLL), Gan Limited (GAN), Century Casinos (CNTY), Inspired Entertainment (INSE), Rush Street Interactive (RSI), Caesars (CZR), MGM Resorts and DraftKings. He recommends owning the group heading into the NFL season catalyst.

DRAFTKINGS, FLUTTER REMAIN FAVORITES: Ahead of the 2021 football season, Jefferies analyst David Katz told investors that the updated version of his sports betting consumer survey series, with specific queries around the highly-anticipated NFL season, supports his thesis that technology matters as manifested by ease-of-use replies. In this regard, the analyst's favoritism for DraftKings and Flutter Entertainment (PDYPY) remains and the opportunity is clarified for integrated operators Caesars and MGM. He believes technology drives control over time to market, product offerings and economics as well as ease-of-use.

The analyst also noted that this NFL season will be the first for Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia, Wyoming, Arizona, Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, and potentially New York and Florida, all of which would drive an oversized growth versus last year. As well, this will be the first football season post DraftKings' conversion to SBTech's platform, the Caesars-William Hill merger, Churchill Downs' (CHDN) Twinspires rebranding, Bally's Corp.'s (BALY) Bally Bet and Wynn's (WYNN) participation, Katz added. Overall, he expects "football season to be profound" for operators and productive for the entire group of stocks. The analyst believes DraftKings, Flutter, and MGM are currently the best positioned and sees Caesars as in a relatively early stage given the timing of the William Hill acquisition. Also, smaller and B2B players Gan, (GAMB), and Rush Street Interactive should reflect well during NFL season, he added.

DEAL NEWS: On Thursday morning, Caesars (CZR) announced an agreement to sell the non-U.S. assets of William Hill to 888 Holdings (EIHDF) for approximately GBP 2.2B.

PRICE ACTION: In Thursday morning trading, shares of DraftKings have gained almost 1% to $63.93, while MGM's stock has advanced about 2% to $43.10. Also higher, Caesars has risen almost 2% to $107.86, Gan has gained more than 2% to $17, and Penn National has advanced about 1% to $83.06.

Disclosure: None

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