DraftKings Lifts 2024 Guidance with $750M Acquisition of Jackpocket

Posted on: February 15, 2024, 04:07h. 

Last updated on: February 16, 2024, 11:39h.

As it so frequently does when it delivers quarterly financial updates, DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG) raised its revenue and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) forecasts. But the high-flying shares modestly retreated in after-hours trading because fourth-quarter sales missed Wall Street estimates.

DraftKings CEO Jason Robins. The company upped 2024 guidance and announced the acquisition of Jackpocket. (Image: Bloomberg)

For the final three months of 2023, the sportsbook operator earned 29 cents a share on the basis of non-generally accepted accounting principles (non-GAAP) on sales of $1.23 billion. Analysts expected per share earnings of 11 cents on revenue that was $10 million higher than what the company reported. DraftKings did, however, unveil, bullish guidance for this year.

DraftKings is raising its fiscal year 2024 revenue guidance to a range of $4.65 billion to $4.90 billion from the range of $4.50 billion to $4.80 billion, which the Company previously announced on November 2, 2023,” according to a statement. “The Company’s updated 2024 revenue guidance range equates to year-over-year growth of 27% to 34%.”

The Boston-based firm added that it now expects 2024 EBITDA of $410 million to $510 million, up from prior guidance of $350 million to $450 million. Forecasts offered up by the operator include Puerto Rico and North Carolina, the latter of which DraftKings expects to be operational next month. CFO Jason Park said 2024 is likely to be the operator’s first year in which it is profitable on an adjusted EBITDA basis for the full year.

Inside DraftKings’ Q4 Numbers

While DraftKings’ fourth-quarter top line slightly missed consensus estimates, other metrics confirm the gaming company continues growing.

For example, monthly unique players (MUPs) jumped to 3.5 million in the December quarter, representing 37% year-over-year growth. That effort was bolstered by solid customer acquisition and retention, as well as the operator’s move into new states, such as Maine.

Following last month’s debut in Vermont, DraftKings offers mobile wagering in 24 states, covering 46% of the U.S. population. It also has iGaming in five states covering 11% of the population. Average revenue per monthly unique players (ARPMUP) was another source of strength in the October through December period.

That metric was “$116 in the fourth quarter of 2023, representing a 6% increase compared to the same period in 2022,” according to the gaming company. “This increase was primarily due to an increase in the Company’s structural sportsbook hold rate, partially offset by customer-friendly sport outcomes. The increase in ARPMUP in the fourth quarter of 2023 would have been 22% when adjusting for customer-friendly sport outcomes.”

Inside the Jackpocket Acquisition

In less than four years as a standalone publicly traded company, DraftKings has shown a knack for deal-making, and that continued Thursday with the announcement the operator is paying $750 million in cash and stock for internet lottery provider Jackpocket.

Some 55% of that $750 million will be paid in cash on hand, and the remainder will be paid in DraftKings shares. At the end of 2023, DraftKings had $3.94 billion in assets on its balance sheet, compared to $3.10 billion in liabilities.

“Jackpocket is the leading provider of digital lottery services in the U.S., with proprietary and highly-scalable technology, a strong brand, and an outstanding founder-led management team,” according to a statement. “The Proposed Transaction will enable DraftKings to access and grow into the massive U.S. lottery industry. But more importantly, strengthen its position in Sportsbook and iGaming through higher customer lifetime value — based on demonstrated cross-sell capabilities — and an enhanced customer acquisition engine.”

The boards of both firms have approved the transaction, which is scheduled to close in the back half of this year.