Century Casinos Enjoys Rally After Analyst Forecasts Massive Upside For Stock

Posted on: October 22, 2019, 02:25h. 

Last updated on: October 22, 2019, 03:03h.

Shares of Century Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ:CNTY), the operator of mid-sized regional properties, have rallied in substantial fashion over the past two days following some bullish commentary from a noted gaming industry analyst.

Century Casinos could get a big boost if Colorado signs off on sports betting, says an industry analyst. (Image: Uncover Colorado)

In a note sent to clients Monday, Union Gaming analyst John DeCree called Century Casinos “an under the radar” name among publicly traded gaming companies, while raising his rating on the stock to “buy” from “hold.”

Stirring the rally in the stock over the past two days is DeCree’s price target of $11. Last Friday, the trading day before DeCree’s analysis was published, Century stock closed at $7.32. After surging 5.26 percent Tuesday on volume that was more than 20 percent above the daily average, the name resides at $8.21, meaning it has rallied 13.66 percent since Oct. 18.

Considering there is less competition for smaller US regional casinos, CNTY is in a unique position to make additional opportunistic acquisitions at attractive multiples, further increasing its domestic exposure,” said DeCree in the note.

At Tuesday’s close, shares of Century Casinos resided more than 42 percent above the 52-week low. But if DeCree’s price forecast proves accurate, the name could offer more upside because it would need to gain almost 34 percent to reach the analyst’s target.

Growing Footprint

Century currently operates eight gaming properties – five in Canada, one in the UK, and two in Colorado – all of which bear the company’s name. But the firm is looking to expand its geographic horizons, particularly in the US.

The West Virginia Lottery Commission recently signed off on Century’s purchase of the Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort in New Cumberland, W. Va.

Century is also buying the Isle Casino Cape Girardeau and Lady Luck Casino in Missouri. All three deals involve Eldorado Resorts, which announced plans to divest those venues days before it revealed a $17.3 billion takeover offer for Caesars Entertainment. Century is doling out $107 million for the rights to manage the two Missouri properties and the West Virginia casino.

Assuming Century does not announce another acquisition between now and the time the Missouri/West Virginia transactions close, it will have five gaming venues in the US.

Colorado Call

In Colorado, Century operates two properties that both go by the name of “Century Casino & Hotel” – one outside of Denver and one in Cripple Creek. That positions the company to potentially benefit should Centennial State voters approve sports wagering next month, something DeCree views as a possible catalyst for the stock.

We also see additional upside to our forecast in the event Coloradans vote in favor of Proposition DD at the ballot in November,” said the Union Gaming analyst. “This bill would allow the 17 companies that own Colorado’s 33 casinos to apply for master licenses, which permits a physical sportsbook at the casino and a partnership for online betting.”

Prop DD is being put to voters on Nov. 5 and is being billed as a way for Colorado to generate revenue to sew up shortfalls in its water budget. If Prop DD passes, it is believed the state could have sports betting operational by May 2020 at the earliest.