DraftKings, Penn National On Goldman Sachs List of Potential 2022 Winners

Posted on: December 28, 2021, 01:23h. 

Last updated on: December 28, 2021, 02:19h.

DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) and Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) — two of this year’s most repudiated gaming equities — could be big winners in 2022, according to Goldman Sachs.

Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs headquarters in New York. The bank says DraftKings and Penn National could bounce back in 2022. (Image: Fox Business)

The bank recently published a list of 40 stocks with average upside potential of 45 percent over the next year. Using call options, the names in that group could offer an average return on premium of 197 percent over the coming 12 months, says Goldman.

DraftKings and regional gaming behemoth Penn National are the gaming stocks on the Goldman list. For investors in those names, the Goldman grouping is relevant because when the bank speaks, market participants tend to listen.

Our past analysis has shown Goldman Sachs ratings alone have been a statistically significant driver of alpha,” a team of Goldman analysts, led by John Marshall, head of derivatives research, and Vishal Vivek, equity derivatives strategist, write. “Goldman Sachs analysts are Buy rated on these stocks, and see an average 45 percent upside over the next year. But call options cost 15 percent, implying 197 percent potential return on premium on average.”

The bank previously opined in bullish fashion on Penn, highlighting that stock earlier this year as one with significant upside potential.

DraftKings, Penn Looking for 2022 Redemption

Off the March 2020 coronavirus market lows and into first quarter of this year, Penn was one of the best-performing domestic stocks — gaming or otherwise. Similar sentiment applies to DraftKings, which became a standalone public company in April 2020.

However, both names are being shellacked this year. Amid concerns about market share, customer acquisition spending, and what could be an increasingly long road to profitability, some analysts are souring on DraftKings. The stock is down almost 21 percent over the past month, 39.43 percent year-to-date, and is 63.14 percent below its 52-week high.

Still, it ranks sixth on the Goldman Sachs list. The bank’s price target on the online sportsbook operator is $63, meaning the shares would have to more than double to get there. Goldman says options traders could generate an almost 300 percent return on premium, based on call contracts trading around $8 if DraftKings runs to the bank’s price forecast over the next year.

DraftKings is drawing criticism from at least one well-known investor, who sees an extended time line to profitability, and says the company is overvalued. Broadly speaking, sell-side analysts still like the stock, but price targets are coming down in recent months.

Penn Plausible Rebound Candidate

Penn National is off 41.17 percent year-to-date, and is more than 65 percent below its 52-week high. But Goldman is optimistic on the Hollywood operator.

The bank has a $99 price target on the stock, about double where it closed today. Goldman says Penn calls could generate return on premium of 281 percent for options traders. The stock is eighth on the bank’s list.

Some analysts argue that Penn stock is being punished by one-off external factors that aren’t commentaries on the company’s fundamentals, and that margin management and expansion at regional casinos can continue in 2022, potentially stoking a rebound.