Last year, revenue from U.S. casinos and gambling mobile applications reached a record $53 billion, the biggest ever recorded, up 21% over the previous yearly record set in 2019, shortly before the pandemic forced many of the industry's landing sports to close for months.
If last year's $53 billion was a record, this year may break it, as total gross gaming revenues were $44.38 billion at the end of the third quarter, with an additional $1.8 billion expected to be wagered on the FIFA World Cup. NFL Football hasn't yet been considered, but estimates indicate that over $20 billion was wagered over the 2021 season.
This could be one of the reasons analyst Gianni Di Poce sees an upside of 17% for PENN Entertainment Inc PENN, which has a 36% stake in Dave Portnoy’s “Barstool Sports.”
The Analyst's Call: “I am bullish on PENN as long as the stock remains above $30.00-$31.00,” Di Poce wrote in his weekly “Benzinga Pro Insider Report.”
“My upside target is $49.00-$51.00,” Di Poce added.
PENN Entertainment has 43 properties across 20 states, which helps mitigate recession concerns, especially in certain areas of the country. “Recessions are not distributed equally, and PENN’s geographic diversity benefits the company during an economic downturn,” Di Poce noted, while mentioning that Massachusetts just legalized sports betting, which opens up a new market for PENN.
Last year, the company booked $5.91 billion in total revenues, and delivered $420.8 million in earnings.
The company has a strong quarterly free cash flow of $573.5 million. It also has about “10% of its shares being sold short right now, setting it up for a modest short squeeze,” Di Poce wrote.
From a technical perspective, PENN is coiling tightly within a multi-month rounding bottom formation. If it can close above the resistance level of the pattern, a new bull trend will be established.
For more bullish sentiment, a recent 13F filing from Goldman Sachs suggests an activist investor may be getting involved with the company, though who that investor is, remains unknown.
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