Century Casinos Stock Rally Has More Catalysts, Says Analyst

Posted on: August 7, 2021, 02:11h. 

Last updated on: August 8, 2021, 12:04h.

Century Casinos (NASDAQ:CNTY) stock soared 22.12 percent this week after the regional gaming company easily surpassed second-quarter earnings and revenue estimates. That prompted at least one analyst to say there’s more upside available with the already hot shares.

century casinos
Century Casinos’ Cape Giraradeau, Mo. venue. Wall Street is excited about the stock. (Image: KFVS12)

The Colorado-based operator reported adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $25.2 million on net operating revenue of $92.2 million for the June quarter. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, and restructuring or rent costs (EBITDAR) beat the consensus estimate by 36 percent.

Century’s impressive results underscore strength in the company’s US operations, because its casinos in Canada and Poland — two of its marquee international markets — were shuttered for most of the quarter. Its Poland venues reopened in late May, followed by some of its Canada casinos on June 10. The second quarter ended on June 30.

CNTY’s international assets were closed for most of Q2, though initial results post-opening outpaced expectations, while regional gaming demand in the US remained robust,” said Stifel analyst Jeffrey Stantial in a note out Friday. “Strength in the consumer, in the US and international appears to have continued into July, though visibility thereafter remains limited as savings/stimulus potentially unwind.”

Stantial rates Century a “buy” with a $19 price target, implying upside of 38.7 percent from the Aug. 6 close. The stock is up 114.24 percent year-to-date.

Century Stock Has Sustainable Trends

As is the case with so many gaming companies, particularly regional operators, Century employed cost-cutting measures immediately following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, leading to significant margin expansion.

Now, analysts and investors are pondering the sustainability of those moves. In the case of Century, it appears as though the company can operate in leaner fashion as business normalizes. That could be to the benefit of shareholders.

“Management’s commentary on sustainable operating trends was encouraging, as they believe most changes made to the operating cost structure should prove permanent, with adjusted EBITDA remaining well above pre-COVID levels, even as operations ‘normalize,’” said Stifel’s Stantial.

Century’s namesake venues in Cape Girardeau and Caruthersville, Mo. are bolstering the case for the stock. As Stantial notes, second-quarter adjusted EBITDAR at those venues was double what it was in the same period in 2019, with slot and table game volumes at historically high levels.

Century recently landed approval to bring the Caruthersville riverboat ashore, and is planning a large-scale hotel expansion at the venue.

Other Catalysts for Century Stock

With $80.2 million in cash and no debt maturities before 2026, Century could be a player in mergers and acquisitions in the US later this year — something analysts have discussed for some time. Those efforts and the company’s cash position could be enhanced by the planned sale of its Poland assets.

“We also see valuation accretive M&A catalysts (Poland sale near-term; U.S. acquisitions long-term) and an attractive capital deployment opportunity in Missouri, which could help re-rate CNTY closer to regional operator peers,” adds Stantial.

The analyst says Century is talking with three suitors regarding the Poland casinos, and a sale will be accretive to the operator’s valuation.