Flutter, William Hill Draw High Praise From Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan

Posted on: June 19, 2020, 12:07h. 

Last updated on: June 19, 2020, 03:15h.

British bookmakers Flutter Entertainment (OTC:PDYPY) and William Hill (OTC:WIMHY) continue earning praise from research firms, with Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan chiming in on the names today.

Flutter, William Hill Draw Analyst Praise
Flutter, the parent of FanDuel, which operates sportsbooks such as the Iowa location seen here, and William Hill are gaining traction with Wall Street analysts. (Image: KCRG)

The two sportsbook operators have dominant share in their home market of the UK. But analysts are growing bullish on the pair because of their exposure to the US.

Flutter, the parent company of FanDuel, recently completed its $12.2 billion takeover of The Stars Group (TSG). The deal created the world’s largest online gaming company and gave the acquirer enviable positioning in key betting markets, such as Australia, the UK, and the US, according to Goldman Sachs.

The bank adds the acquisition was prescient on Flutter’s part because TSG brings to the fold a “complementary set of products” as compelling brands and a strong user base.

Highlighting the oft-cited catalysts of online casino expansion and the US sports wagering opportunity, Goldman dubbed Flutter the “best positioned” name in its coverage universe to capitalize on “the two most important structural themes” in the sector. The bank reinstated a “buy” rating on the FanDuel owner.

Adulation for William Hill, Too

Shares of William Hill took a hit earlier this week when the firm joined a cavalcade of gaming companies saying they’re raising capital by selling equity. The company generated almost $280 million by selling nearly 20 percent of its prior shares outstanding tally. But JPMorgan analyst Ted Nyhan sees benefits in the transaction.

The influx of capital not only helps William Hill reduce leverage, it can provide a buffer against regulatory risk in the UK while providing the cash needed for US expansion, said Nyhan. The analyst upgraded the stock from “overweight” to “neutral,” while boosting his price target on the name by 25 percent.

Our UK online business is in a better place than ever, and our international business is displaying solid growth,” said William Hill CEO Ulrik Bengtsson in a statement released earlier this week.

“In the US, we have used this period of lockdown wisely to move our product forward, and we are now in a strong position to capitalize on the US growth opportunity that lies ahead,” Bengtsson continued.

Nyhan said the stock is his top pick in the online betting arena.

US Propels Profit

For companies with sports betting exposure even those that are based overseas it’s all about the US these days, as some analysts speculate the sports wagering market here could eventually be worth $20 billion as more states join the party.

Flutter and William Hill are among the international operators most levered to that growth. With FanDuel, Flutter has perhaps the only credible rival to DraftKings in daily fantasy sports (DFS), and a significant avenue for expansion in iGaming and online sports betting.

Likewise, William Hill’s US presence will expand, as Eldorado Resorts wraps up its takeover of Caesars Entertainment. The sportsbook operator and regional gaming company have a long-standing agreement that transfers to the latter’s acquisitions, meaning the British firm will eventually have access to Caesars’ retail and online sportsbooks.