DraftKings Jumps on More Analyst Chatter, Accel Illinois Deal

Posted on: September 9, 2020, 09:56h. 

Last updated on: September 9, 2020, 10:10h.

DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) stock is soaring for a second consecutive day Wednesday, after another analyst endorsed the name and on news of a gaming machine deal with Accel Entertainment (NYSE:ACEL) in Illinois.

DraftKings Touted By Evercore Analyst
Evercore ISI analyst Kevin Rippey, seen here in a July interview with CNBC, is bullish on DraftKings stock. (Image: CNBC)

Sell-side commentary on the sportsbook operator is brisk to start this week, with Evercore ISI analyst Kevin Rippey initiating coverage of the name today. He’s the second analyst in as many days to start evaluating DraftKings. Rippey starts the stock with an “outperform” rating and a $60 price target, implying upside of more than 50 percent from where it trades at this writing.

Our call on DKNG is fairly straightforward. The market under appreciates the pull forward in US states’ plans to legalize online sports betting,” said Rippey in a note to clients.

The increased legalization thesis is a familiar refrain among the analysts covering gaming and sports betting equities, and one that takes on increased credibility with states scrambling to generate revenue during the coronavirus pandemic.

Fantastic Forecasts

While there are lingering concerns about the costs DraftKings and rivals face to enter new markets and how that spending affects profitability, Rippey sees the percentage of Americans with access to regulated online betting soaring over the next couple of years.

Today, about 10 percent of the US population is able to legally bet on sports online or via mobile devices. But the Evercore analyst sees that figure increasing to 40 percent by the start of the 2022 NFL season. Rippey notes that “legislative acceleration will compound on DraftKings’ technology and customer acquisition cost advantages,” indicating the stock is currently undervalued when measured against near- and long-term growth opportunities.

Boston-based DraftKings currently offers online and mobile wagering in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, and is close to going live with that feature in Michigan.

“Our 2022 revenue estimate is already 25% above consensus, with material upside if any major toss-up states legalize next year; by 2025, we see a path to nearly $900 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA),” said Rippey. “Our $60 Target is based on 40x our 2025 adjusted EBITDA forecast discounted back at 8% to 2020.”

Speaking of Illinois…

The other meaningful catalyst for DraftKings stock today is an agreement with Accel Entertainment, a provider of video gaming terminals (VGTs) in Illinois, a market the sports betting company recently entered.

Starting today, Accel’s more than 2,300 gaming machines across the Prairie State will feature DraftKings content, including advertisements, sports betting lines, and mobile app sign-ups.

Accel’s VGTs are found in businesses such as restaurants, bars, taverns, convenience stores, liquor stores, truck stops, and grocery stores.

It remains to be seen if DraftKings’ relationship with Accel presents the former with a work-around to Illinois’ in-person registration requirement for mobile sports wagering. There’s a waiver on that mandate until at least Sept. 19. But policymakers there aren’t signaling what they’re planning for mobile betting sign-ups after that date.