Century Casinos Rebound Isn’t Done Yet, Say Analysts

Gaming News Gaming News

By Todd Shriber

Century Casinos (NASDAQ:CNTY) was active last week and all that activity prompted a 37 percent spike in the stock even with a 4.13 percent decline last Friday.

In addition to delivering first-quarter results, the company announced that its eight gaming properties in Poland are reopening following coronavirus closures while adding that it inked a deal for online sports with bet365 in its home market of Colorado.

With acquisitions announced last year expected to bolster earnings in 2020 and more of the operator’s regional properties coming back online in the wake of COVID-19, analysts are increasingly bullish on Century even though the stock is higher by 50.15 percent over the past month.

Despite COVID-19 disruption, our CY21 earnings before, interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBTIDA) estimate remains ~177% above CY19, primarily driven by its Missouri and West Virginia casino acquisitions, which also changes CNTY’s CY21E U.S. EBITDA mix to ~65% from 28% in CY19,” said Roth Capital analyst David Bain a note obtained by Casino.org.

The purchases the analyst is referring to are Century last year agreeing to purchase the operating rights of the Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort in West Virginia, and the Isle Casino Cape Girardeau and Lady Luck Casino – both in Missouri – from Eldorado Resorts (NASDAQ:ERI).

Deals Could Pay Dividends

Prior to those buys, the bulk of Century’s domestic footprint was confined to the Centennial, meaning its getting important geographic diversity with the Missouri and West Virginia venues.

In today’s coronavirus environment, the additions to Century’s portfolio are useful for another reason: gaming properties in the Show Me and Mountain States are slated to reopen in the first week of June while there’s still little visibility as to when Colorado will follow suit.

Bain notes the performance of the venues Century purchased from Eldorado was topping expectations prior to the nationwide closures forced by the coronavirus.

“Pre-casino closure EBITDA performance from acquired Eldorado (ERI-Buy) properties was trending well-above consensus expectations and builds the case for stock multiple expansion, particularly as some investors believed Eldorado, which has a strong track record of optimizing value, may have already maximized the portfolio potential,” said the analyst.

Canada, Colorado

Century is major operator in Canada and as is the case with Colorado, it’s not clear when the company’s properties there will reopen, but there is some talk gamblers could return to those venues over the coming weeks.

Bain said the company expects its Centennial State gaming properties will be open by the middle of next month with the Alberta, Canada casinos following in the back half of June.

The operator probably burned $8 million in May with most of properties closed for more than half the month, and it needs almost $20 million to get all of its venues up and running again, which should leave it with $22 million in cash.

“Now it has been clearly documented, to-date patron reception to regional casino openings has been strong,” said Bain. “CNTY management noted that over its 40 years operating casinos, the industry has recovered from all ‘crises’ stronger over time, particularly in hyper-local markets.”

The analyst has a “buy” rating and $11 price target – more than double last Friday’s close – on Century stock.