DraftKings One of Best-Performing SPAC Stocks

Posted on: June 14, 2024, 06:15h. 

Last updated on: June 14, 2024, 09:12h.

DraftKings’ (NASDAQ: DKNG) journey as a public company started in late 2019 when it announced a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Since then, the online sportsbook giant has been one of the best-performing stocks, regardless of industry, to go public in that fashion.

DraftKings is advertised on the outside of the Nasdaq market site. It’s one of the best-performing stocks born from a SPAC merger. (Image: Twitter)

Over that time, which has included significant drawdowns by the stock, DraftKings has defied the recent, dubious history of shares of companies that went public via mergers with blank-check companies. Indeed, performances delivered by firms — gaming and otherwise — that hit public markets following  SPAC deals have been dismal.

Over the last 4 years, 400+ companies went public through a SPAC,” according to FinChat. “The average return? -67%.”

The research firm highlighted 10 of the best-performing stocks that were born out of blank-check transactions, with DraftKings ranking second on the list behind only Vertiv Holdings (VRTV), a provider of digital infrastructure and services for data centers. Since its SPAC merger, Vertiv returned 611% while DraftKings surged a still impressive and broader market-beating 285%.

DraftKings the Exception, Not the SPAC Rule

DraftKings stock experienced a peak-to-trough decline that started in March 2021 when the stock traded around $72 before tumbling to around $10.50 in August 2022. But the shares have nearly quadrupled since, flirting with $50 as recently as March. It’s one of Wall Street’s favorite gaming equities and is half (FanDuel  is the other part) of an iGaming/online sports betting duopoly that’s so deep that there’s essentially no second tier.

Those traits coupled with the aforementioned share price appreciation confirm DraftKings as one of the best gaming equities in recent years, SPAC or otherwise. It’s also the only betting stock on the FinChat Top-10 list.

Other companies born out of blank-check deals haven’t been so fortunate, and one reason is the often sizable redemptions that SPAC insiders demand following the commencement of a merger.

The claim about rapid redemptions across the blank-check universe in 2021 has some merit because a slew of gaming companies that went public that year via SPAC mergers have seen their share prices slammed in the subsequent three years.

Some Gaming SPAC Stocks Clawing Back to Life

While DraftKings is the leader of gaming stock SPAC pack — and others have floundered — some are making their way back with recently impressive performances. For example, Rush Street Interactive (NYSE: RSI), which went public in December 2020 following a merger with dMY Technology Group Inc., would need to more than double to return to its 2021 highs, but the stock has more than doubled year to date and has nearly tripled over the past year.

Oft-overlooked Codere Online Luxembourg (NASDAQ: CDRO) — itself the product of a SPAC deal — has surged 139.63% year to date.

Other gaming equities that came to life via blank-check transactions have more work to do. Super Group Holdings (NYSE: SGHC), a small online sportsbook operator, would need to more than triple to reclaim all-time highs while social casino developer Playstudios (NYSE: MYPS) would need to more than quadruple to get back to the record high set in 2021. That stock went public following a merger with a SPAC controlled by several gaming industry executives, including former MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) CEO Jim Murren.