Another new month, another set of disclosure at bad boy Amigo Holdings (AMGO) which shows that the financial markets are a soap opera without parallel. For those of you who want some elements of the backstory, then check out this posting a month or so ago. Anyhow across a couple of regulatory updates, the company has admitted (1) an FCA investigation is continuing; (2) it is still talking with a prospective low price-bidder and; (3) it is still battling with the erstwhile founder (and residual large shareholder). In all the injunction chat related to the latter point, whenever you see a company Chair observe 'the Board has offered to leave, and will do so, but it must be through an orderly process' you know this is an almighty...show. Anyhow I guess for us market soap opera watchers, this one is going to be remain newsworthy for a while longer with a 17th June General Meeting to look forward to. Suffice to say one to continue avoiding like the plague. By contrast...
... I, seemingly foolishly, recommended Playtech (PTEC) as one of my tips of the year and had to fess up to my incompetence three months ago HERE. Obviously, the shares celebrated this mea cupla by going lower in March despite my observations at the previous link about the general online growth scope and specifically liberalisation of American gambling opportunity. At least I took this opportunity to more than double up. Anyhow two further updates to talk about...
The company's 20th May regulatory disclosure talked about monthly positive cash flow in March and April, a 'strong Q1' (albeit just an adjusted ebitda figure was mentioned), some positive divisional comments across both its gambling technology and trading activities and, inevitably, a bunch of liquidity-related comments. Even the announcement of an interim-only Chair was a relative win for a company which - like my (much more successful) long-standing GVC Holdings (GVC) position - is at that most interesting point of its development from lowly valued / regulatory uncertain / a range of 'interesting' commercial tactics, to a position where more regulation and good practice is actually celebrated via a higher share price over time (long standing investors will recall the tobacco space went through a similar metamorphosis twenty odd years ago). It always helps when the government can smell a bunch of sticky tax revenues.
So Playtech's share price recovery from the dog days of March continues. And the latest excitement? 'Playtech plc is pleased to announce that it has been granted regulatory approval by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement ("DGE") to provide its casino product to the New Jersey market'. America may be full of challenges currently but the ongoing liberalisation of gambling and sports betting is a boon for many UK-listed gambling names, deeply schooled in the art of working in such regulated / highly competitive markets. For what it is worth, that's why I still have a ten quid GVC target...and we might even see Playtech's shares having a run at a year-to-date gain before the end of December rolls around. Both still buys for me.
Filed under: Playtech, Novacyt, Gable Insurance, Xaar, ValiRx, Electrocomponents, Chris Bailey
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