Shares of FanDuel parent
are beginning to find momentum after the company started exploring a U.S. listing—but it’s not too late to bet on the stock.
There’s no doubting FanDuel’s strength in the U.S. sports betting market. It reached a 50% share of the online sportsbook market in the fourth quarter, Flutter says, citing data from the 17 states the brand operates in.
Flutter’s full-year earnings reported earlier this month only served to accentuate that strength, flagging a record Super Bowl, adding 1.2 million new customers in the first two months of this year, making progress on an additional New York listing, and remaining on track for its U.S. business to turn profitable in 2023.
It’s a significant, but very achievable, milestone. The segment generated positive Ebitda in the second and fourth quarters, when excluding investment in state launches in Maryland and Ohio.
Despite that, the stock (ticker: FLTR.United Kingdom) initially fell after earnings. The move was indicative of a longstanding issue—investors underplaying the U.S. growth opportunity—on this occasion focusing on weakness in Australia.
The U.K. market may also be a factor. Citi analysts said earlier this month that the U.K. stock market currently trades at a record 40% discount to the U.S.
In addition to FanDuel, the sports betting and gaming company owns a number of brands, including Paddy Power, PokerStars, Betfair, and SportsBet, operating in more than 100 countries.
Flutter stock has climbed 24% so far this year, and has moved higher since its postearnings dip. Perhaps investors are starting to wake up to the bigger picture.
Susquehanna analyst Joe Stauff says a New York listing, which he assumes will happen in the fourth quarter of 2023, would be a “value-creating event,” which would reduce the 20% conglomerate discount it currently applies to the value of Flutter’s U.S. business. He has a Buy rating on the stock and a price target of £163 ($197), implying a 21% upside to its recent price of £135.
For context, the U.S. market size for Flutter over the next two years will be as large as the combined nine largest countries it currently competes in today, which includes the U.K., Australia, and Brazil, Stauff noted.
Analysts covering the stock, of which 80% rate it as a Buy, expect strong growth over the next few years. Flutter is expected to post revenue of £9.1 billion this year, and £10.2 billion in 2024, up from £7.7 billion last year. Earnings per share are also seen growing to £3.80 in 2023 and £5.69 the following year, up from £1.89 in 2022.
“With our combined U.S. business on track to deliver a positive Ebitda for the full year 2023 for the first time, the Group is currently at an earnings’ transformation point and we look forward to delivering future growth and progressing further against Flutter’s strategic priorities in the coming year,” Flutter CEO Peter Jackson said in a statement earlier this month.
There are other reasons to be positive. Flutter’s U.K. and international performance held up well in the fourth quarter, in the face of a challenging macroeconomic environment.
The stock also isn’t too expensive, trading at 24.7 times estimated 2024 earnings, lower than an average of around 34 times among a basket of competitors, according to FactSet data.
Stricter-than-anticipated U.K. gambling reforms, expected to be put forward later this year, present a risk to the stock but there’s many more reasons to consider a bet on the shares continuing higher.