Markets are back at record highs, resuming a year-to-date climb that was temporarily interrupted from mid-February through the first week of March. A series of interrelated factors have worked together to push stock values back up.
First, the economy is reopening. This started last fall, but was slowed by a wave of corona infections during the winter. The rapidly expanding vaccination program has people confident now, and it looks like the US economy is headed for its highest growth rate in several decades. Second, and added to that confidence, consumers are sitting on cash; there are the $1,400 stimulus checks that went out with the COVID-relief bill last month, but also, spending activity in 2020 was so low that household savings are at record high levels. The Biden Administration is also talking about a new infrastructure bill it wants to push through Congress, bringing up the prospect of trillions more in Federal spending. And finally, the Federal Reserve has signaled that it has no intention of pulling back on its long-standing easy-money policies. The result: investors are ready to spend, and stocks are rising.
The gains in the stock market are also underpinned by a flood of positive economic data. The key data point, the one that’s been getting the headlines, is the monthly jobs number – and the recently released March figures showed 916,000 new jobs added last month. That was almost half more than had been expected, and came with upward revisions to January and February that totaled 156,000.
Those gains have the Street’s analysts looking for stocks that are poised to grow with the broader market. Here is one such stock.
Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG)
Few industries drip money quite as copiously as online gaming. The internet versions of traditional casino games are highly popular, and a successful online casino is a potential gold mine for investors. Golden Nugget Online Gaming is the largest online casino site operating in New Jersey, and has spread its operations to an additional nine states. The company went public through a SPAC merger back in December, and has been trading on the NASDAQ since then.
Being new to the public markets, GNOG hasn’t got a long record of open financial disclosures – but the recent 4Q20 earnings report, the company’s first since completing the SPAC transaction, shows reason for optimism. At the top line, the company had quarterly revenues of $23 million and full year 2020 revenues of $91.1 million; management increased its guidance for FY2021 to the range of $130 million to $145 million, or up 51% at the midpoint from last year’s results.
So, Golden Nugget has a clear path forward. That’s a good thing. Yet, the stock is down ~40% since the SPAC merger completed. One analyst, however, thinks this lower stock price could offer new investors an opportunity to get into GNOG on the cheap.
Jefferies analyst David Katz initiated coverage of GNOG with a Buy rating, and his $28 price target implies a robust 85% upside for the next 12 months.
“The magnitude and productivity prospects of the iGaming market have not been fully appreciated by the Street, in our view, and GNOG’s positioning and product strength have been proven in NJ. GNOG and digital gaming – iGaming, specifically – require long-term vision in general…. The focus on iGaming as a priority is positioned for the next growth chapter of digital gaming. We expect that as seasoned management continues to execute over time as it has in 2020, the Street’s recognition of the merits of pure-play iGaming will become more evident,” Katz explained.
Golden Nugget has slipped under most analysts’ radar; the stock’s Moderate Buy consensus is based on just two recent ratings. With shares trading at $14, the $26 average price target suggests room more for than an 80% upside.
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