BUSINESS

Panmure Gordon rates and slates the public firms

TAGs: Betfair, Panmure Gordon, pwin

graded paperEver since the gaming industry mega-fantastic-not-actually-quite-that-good merger between Bwin and Party Gaming created Pwin, things have been up and down like a cheap hooker for the firm. In the case of Pwin, it’s one that likes to get down more than up. The latest to compound their woes were broker Panmure Gordon (PG) as they spoke of their confidence in iGaming sector.

The comments read: “We think most companies traded strongly over Q3 and valuations appear undemanding. However, with earnings difficult to forecast with high conviction as countries move to a regulated and taxed framework, the market is applying a significant discount to our estimate of fair value. We continue to favour a basket approach to the sector as all companies are employing slightly different strategies to achieve the common aim of maximising revenues from regulated markets.”

While all this praise was being lavished on the gambling industry, Pwin stood hoping that someone would mention them. PG’s chief autocue reader stepped up to the pulpit and reiterated its “buy” recommendation on 888 Holdings, Betfair, NetPlay TV, Sportech and Sportingbet.

That was that. No Pwin in sight and they even downgraded the company’s recommendation from “buy” to “hold” muttering something about Germany. There was also a downgrading for Playtech thanks to concerns about their future conduct. Will they still be saying that when the heavies arrive at the door? We thought not!

Individually, it describes 888 as an “opportunity for significant near-term gains” and that it’s “inexpensive” in comparison to others. Is that business slang for 888 is the cheap hooker?

They do go on and also describe Betfair as “inexpensive” and sounding like its worth a punt despite “significant headwinds.” One of those excluded from the cheap hooker category was NetPlay, PG commenting: “Has refocused on its core Supercasino product and has produced a strong financial performance so far in 2011.”

Sportech is that ex-girlfriend that you never really had a handle on. PG told that the company “has been transformed but is still not well understood.” So, so misunderstood. Then there was one. Sportingbet where, after extensive plastic surgery, it’s “in much better shape” than before the Lads’ approach. The fake boobs definitely worked.

No matter how much praise is lavished on these public gaming industry firms there’s one fact that remains. Whilst they remain on the stock exchange they are restricted to regulated markets and have no chance to get their hands on Asia’s bounty of gold-plated gambling millions.

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