What are we looking for?
Beneficiaries of new U.S. legislation should states begin to legalize sports gambling.
The American Gaming Association estimates there is currently a US$150-billion-a-year illegal sports gambling industry in the United States. This activity may soon find itself on the right side of the law though, with willing investors being able to take a stake. On Monday, justices of the U.S. Supreme Court voted to strike down a federal law that effectively banned sports betting across the vast majority of the country. This paves the way for states to legalize it and the stocks in a number of sub-sectors within the legal gambling industry have already gained on the news, including: casinos and horse and dog tracks where bets could be placed and gambling machine manufacturers and operators that could facilitate these bets.
- We look at the U.S. stock market and select the following Thomson Reuters Business Classification sub-industries: Casinos; Casinos & Gaming; Gaming Machine Manufacturers; Gaming Machine Operators; and Horse & Dog Race Tracks.
- Next, we look for companies whose locations or products are already popular with the gambling public and could immediately benefit from the new revenue opportunity that sports betting presents. As a proxy for this we use cumulative revenue growth over the past three years and require at least 15 per cent.
- Finally, we consider the overall attractiveness of the stock using the Thomson Reuters Combined Alpha Model. This is a model that considers valuation (both relative and intrinsic), price momentum (short, medium, long-term and industry-wide), analyst sentiment, institutional investor sentiment, short interest, insider transactions and earnings quality. We assign companies a percentile score, with all U.S. stocks as the peer group, and require a score of at least 70.
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What we found?
The company passing the revenue growth requirement with the highest Combined Alpha Model score is Canterbury Park Holding Corp. of Shakopee, Minn. It is also the smallest company, and with a market cap of only US$70-million, too small to be on the radar of large institutional investors yet. Three of the four largest shareholders are company insiders with almost 40 per cent of the shares outstanding and no analysts cover the stock. But a savvy investor may see this as an opportunity to invest alongside company directors with “skin in the game” in an uncovered stock that should benefit from the changing legal landscape.
Investors are strongly advised to conduct their own research before purchasing any of the securities listed here.
Hugh Smith, CFA, MBA, works in the financial and risk unit of Thomson Reuters and specializes in wealth and asset management.