A Good Year For Betfair Investors

Share value has increased by 40 percent over the past 12 months

The respected investment column of the Telegraph newspaper in the UK was full of praise for online gambling group Betfair over the weekend, noting that investors in the plc who have hung on through the tough times have seen the value of their holdings soar around 40 percent over the past 12 months.

The newspaper compares that outstanding performance with rivals Ladbrokes and William Hill, whose share price over a similar period fell 35 percent and 11 percent respectively, although it notes that these companies have extensive land as well as online operations, and there have been higher costs and challenges in the retail sector.

Last week Betfair released its latest numbers, which benefitted from the four-yearly bonanza that is the FIFA World Cup football.

The Telegraph notes that revenue was up 26 percent to GBP 237.6 million in the six months to the end of October, and pre-tax profits more than doubled to GBP 67.3 million, when compared with the same period last year. Even excluding the World Cup effect, revenue was up 12 percent, and management increased their expected full-year earnings to about GBP 100 million.

Betfair had GBP 271.4 million on the balance sheet at the end of October, prompting an increase in the interim dividend by 50 percent to 9p per share, and a special cash return of another GBP 200 million to shareholders (see previous InfoPowa report).

The Telegraph suggests that there couild be more good news ahead for the online gambling group, which has grown its player base by 50 percent this year to more than a million internet and mobile punters.

Betfair players are making betting bigger and more often, increasing profitability for the group, and the cross-marketing from sports betters to casino games is going well, with overall results providing analysts with a pleasant surprise.

"The online gambling group clearly has the better business model for the modern world and the momentum going into the second half of the year. That said, the shares are now trading on 24.6 times earnings, rising to 26.4 times next year as profits fall slightly without the World Cup," the Telegraph observes.

"Betfair shares look very expensive given they will not enjoy a World Cup effect next year and face the introduction of a "point of consumption" tax, which is being introduced this month and will charge a 15 percent levy on bets made in the UK. Betfair has proven to be a quality operator, but not at the current GBP 14.86," the newspaper opines, advising investors to hold.

Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa

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