When your franchise cable channel is struggling after being the mainstay of cable since the beginning, then making a huge change and embracing the now solidly legal sports gaming industry makes a ton of sense. That is exactly what Walt Disney, the owner of ESPN, is doing. With consumers fleeing cable for streaming services, and Disney taking some big hits on horrible offerings from its entertainment segment, it is no surprise it made the move to embrace sports gambling, especially when it gets paid in a big way for its brand.
Under a recently signed deal, the legacy sports broadcasting giant and casino owner Penn Entertainment agreed to jointly launch a sports betting business under the brand ESPN Bet. Under the terms of the deal, Penn will pay ESPN $1.5 billion in cash and offer about $500 million worth of warrants to purchase its shares over an initial 10-year term in exchange for the brand, promotional services and other rights. While expensive, the sheer magnitude of the ESPN reach is a potential game changer for the sports gaming business.
At 24/7 Wall St., we like to hedge our bets and see who the winners and potential losers could be. We screened our gaming database and cross-referenced the potential implications down the road for the stocks and the industry. With the NFL season in full effect, and the betting handle expected to explode higher this year, we found five stocks investors may want to consider.
While all these stocks are rated Buy, it is important to remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.
Shares of this well-known old-school gaming company are offering solid upside. Caesars Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ: CZR) provides casino entertainment and hospitality services, primarily under the Harrah’s, Caesars, Horseshoe and Eldorado brand names, in the United States. It owns, leases or manages domestic properties in 16 states with slot machines, video lottery terminals and e-tables, and hotel rooms, as well as table games, including poker.
Caesars Entertainment also operates and conducts sports wagering across 28 jurisdictions in North America, including mobile for sports betting and regulated online real money gaming in six jurisdictions; retail and online gaming and sports betting; and other games, such as keno. In addition, the company operates dining venues, bars, nightclubs, lounges, hotels and entertainment venues, and it provides staffing and management services.
Wells Fargo’s $77 target price on Caesars Entertainment stock compares with a consensus target of $73.31 and the closing price on Monday of $53.44 a share.
This company is a sector leader, and shares backed up some after the Penn-ESPN deal was announced. DraftKings Inc. (NASDAQ: DKNG) operates as a digital sports entertainment and gaming company. It offers multichannel sports betting and gaming technologies, powering sports and gaming entertainment for operators in 17 countries.
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