Stride Gaming - Recommended cash offer from Rank
Rank Group has made a recommended £115.3m cash offer for Stride Gaming, which equates to an EV of £93.4m. Using the run-rate H119 EBITDA, the deal is valued at c 7.5x EV/EBITDA. The offer of 151p per share is a 29% premium to the previous day’s closing price. Irrevocable commitments have been received by 61.3% of Stride’s shareholders and completion is anticipated in Q319.
03 Jun 19
Stride Gaming - Suspension of estimates
For the purposes of the Takeover Code, Edison Investment Research is deemed to be connected with Stride Gaming. Under Rule 20.1 Edison must not include any profit forecast, quantified financial benefits statement, asset valuation or estimate of other figures key to the offer, except to the extent that such forecasts, statements, valuations or estimates have been published prior to the offer period (as defined in the Takeover Code) by an offeror or the offeree company (as appropriate) in accordance with the requirements of the Code. Consequently we have removed our estimates until the Offer Period ends.
31 May 19
Small Cap Feast
Renold plc—a leading international supplier of industrial chains and related power transmission products, announced that it will cancel the listing of the Company from the premium segment and apply for admission on AIM. Expected 06 June 2019. Alumasc Group plc, the premium building products, systems and solutions group, has announced its intention to move from the Premium Segment of the main market to AIM. Expected market cap of £33.4m. Expected 25 June 2019
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31 May 19
Small Cap Feast
Techniplas –global producer and support services company providing highly engineered and technically complex components, making the supply chain to original equipment manufacturers more efficient. FYDec17 rev $515m. Loungers plc—the operator of 146 café/bar/restaurants across England and Wales under the Lounge and Cosy Club brands, announces its intention to seek admission on AIM, offer TBC, expected late April. SDX Energy plc—a North Africa focused oil and gas company, announces its intention to complete a Canadian plan of arrangement under section 192 of the Canada Business Corporations Act and will have shares de-listed from the TSX-V and admitted to trading on AIM. Expected 28 May 2019, anticipated market cap of £76m
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09 Apr 19
Stride Gaming - Trading broadly in line
Stride’s AGM confirmed that trading for the current financial year has been broadly in line, despite well documented regulatory headwinds. To counterbalance rising gaming taxes and other sector pressures, the group is implementing numerous cost-cutting initiatives, which will be key to hitting our FY19 EBITDA estimate. Looking ahead, we expect growth to resume in FY20 (once many regulatory burdens have been lapped) and we believe Stride will take market share within a disrupted industry. Cash conversion is c 90% and the new payout policy leads to a 15.0% yield in FY19 (including the special dividend). The stock continues to trade at a meaningful discount to peers, at 3.7x EV/EBITDA and 6.5x P/E for CY19e.
06 Feb 19
Small Cap Feast
United Oil & Gas (UOG.L) an oil and gas exploration and development company brought to the Official List (Standard Segment) in July 2017 by way of a reverse takeover of Senterra Energy plc. No capital to be raised, expected market cap of £17m and expected 28 Feb Techniplas – global producer and support services company providing highly engineered and technically complex components, making the supply chain to original equipment manufacturers more efficient. FYDec17 rev $515m.
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06 Feb 19
Stride Gaming - Strong cash flow and special dividend
Stride’s FY18 results statement was dominated by the impact of recent regulatory news, as well as by the decision to significantly increase cash payouts. Our FY19 estimates now reflect a £7.1m fine for procedural failings (vs £4m previously), as well an additional five months of higher remote gaming duty (RGD), which equates to a one-off hit of £2.5m. None of this affects FY20 and, given Stride’s competitive positioning, we believe it should achieve market share gains and we raise our FY20 EBITDA from £14.5m to £16.0m. A special dividend of 8p has been announced, and going forward, Stride intends to pay out at least 50% of adjusted net earnings. The stock has bounced from its lows, but still trades at 5.0x EV/EBITDA and 8.0x P/E for CY19e.
21 Nov 18
Stride Gaming - RGD marginally higher than expected
The UK government has raised remote gaming duty (RGD) from 15% to 21%. This was better than recent rumours of 25%, but 1% higher than market expectations of 20%. With implementation from October 2019 (rather than April), we raise our FY19e EBITDA by 5%. However, assuming no mitigation, we lower our FY20e EBITDA by £3m to £14.5m. While regulatory pressures are likely to remain a feature of the UK gaming sector, Stride is the number three online bingo-led operator and should benefit from its strong market position. The balance sheet is robust (£20m net cash) and, despite the increased taxes, we expect strong cash flow through synergies and strategic growth. The stock has fallen 58% this year and trades at depressed levels of 3.6x EV/EBITDA and 5.8x P/E for CY19e.
30 Oct 18
Stride Gaming - Focusing on synergies and strategic growth
Stride’s FY18 trading update confirms the widely reported headwinds facing the UK bingo-led market, with a c 3% decline in real money gaming (RMG) in H218. More positively, FY18 RMG EBITDA appears to be in line (or slightly better) than our recently reduced estimate. Importantly, Stride’s high-margin proprietary platform is a key differentiator and the company remains well placed to gain market share. The balance sheet is strong and we expect strong cash flow through synergies and strategic growth. The stock has fallen 60% this year on the back of downgrades and a UKGC fine (which appears to be c £4m) and now trades at depressed levels of 5.8x P/E and 3.3x EV/EBITDA for CY19e.
26 Sep 18
Legalisation of online sports betting in the US will provide opportunities for AIM online gaming companies. The Supreme Court of the United States has decided to overturn the Federal prohibition of sports betting. The state of New Jersey argued that congress had exceeded its authority and the judges agreed. The US sports betting market, both onsite and online, could be worth $6bn by 2023, but individual states will have to enact legislation to enable online sports betting to commence in their territory.
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12 Jun 18
Looking beyond the UK
The entire UK gaming sector has been stung by recent regulatory changes and, like other operators, Stride’s strategy is to diversify its UK-centric model into international markets. In the UK, the company is gaining market share, with H118 adjusted revenues increasing 14% to £44.9m, driven by 25% growth in the proprietary platform. However, we have lowered our total FY18 and FY19 EBITDA forecasts by 16.6% and 28.7% to reflect increased costs associated with regulatory compliance and international expansion. The stock has fallen 18% year to date and trades at 8.3x EV/EBITDA and 13.4x P/E for CY18e.
23 May 18
On track for underlying margin expansion
Stride’s AGM trading update confirmed the continued momentum in its core real money gaming (RMG) vertical. The Aspers Casino partnership has had an encouraging start and Stride is well positioned to keep gaining market share. Its key differentiating factor is the high-performing proprietary platform and we expect underlying margin expansion as customers migrate from acquired businesses. We believe that visibility into the social gaming vertical (5% of revenues) remains limited and we have lowered our future revenue forecasts by c £2m per year. Our profit forecasts are unchanged. At 7.4x EV/EBITDA and 10.8x P/E for CY18, Stride trades at a meaningful discount to peers.
01 Feb 18
Small Cap Breakfast
Block Energy—a NEX Listed UK based oil exploration and production company whose main country of operation is the Republic of Georgia, looks to join AIM end of February 2018. Offer TBC OnTheMarket—Intention to float on AIM to raise c.£50m which will be used to fund the growth of the OnTheMarket.com portal, already the third biggest UK residential property portal provider. Offer raising £30m at 165p with mkt cap of £100m . Due 9 Feb.
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01 Feb 18
Eye Catching Metrics
Stride Gaming (LON:STR) is a leading online online gaming operator, working within the regulated markets, with a top 4 presence in the UK bingo market. Stride recently reported FY Aug 2017 results which confirmed strong operating progress, cashflows, and balance sheet. The UK bingo market continues to grow at mid-high single digits, and within that Stride has been gaining market share rapidly. The company is led by a management team with a proven track record of shareholder value creation (see GlobalCom or Wink Bingo for examples).
04 Dec 17
Scale drives core growth
Stride reported net gaming revenue (NGR) growth of 18% to £89.9m in FY17, driven by an impressive 39% organic growth in the core real money gaming (RMG). Adjusted EBITDA of £20.2m was slightly above our recently raised estimates. Stride has invested heavily in technology and operational leverage should kick in as acquired customers migrate to the higher-margin proprietary platform. A small investment into the Indian rummy market could also lead to diversified revenue growth. Strong cash flow and £17.4m net cash leaves the company well positioned to pay the final Tarco earnout. The stock trades at CY18e 8.2x EV/EBITDA and 12.0x P/E, slightly below peer group averages. Profitability in the core business should offset potential investment losses and our estimates remain largely unchanged.
22 Nov 17
Back to form
Prelims are in line with September's trading update and reveal another year of strong LFL growth, with sales and EBITDA up 18% and 24%, respectively, Adj. cash conversion was also robust at 83%, resulting in strong Y/E net cash of £19.8m (vs. £15.7mE). Stride also announced a controlling investment in Passion Gaming today and, despite expecting this early-stage business to lose c.£1m in FY18E, we reiterate unchanged sales and profit forecasts – effectively signalling a 5% EBITDA upgrade through cost efficiencies. We upgrade our target price to 310p, suggesting 21% upside.
21 Nov 17
Solid State* (SOLI): Interim results, distribution shows strong growth (CORP) | Europa Oil & Gas* (EOG): Holmwood planning update (CORP) | President Energy* (PPC): Open Offer result (CORP) | Stride Gaming (STR): Back to form (BUY) | Stride Gaming (STR): Back to form (BUY) | Telecom Plus (TEP): Optimism at interims (BUY) | Renew (RNWH): Solid foundation for continued growth (BUY)
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21 Nov 17
Small Cap Breakfast
Belluscura— Provider of premium medical devices at value prices to address part of the global unmet need for affordable, premium quality medical devices. Raising £7.5m to £10m. Offer TBA. Due early Dec Miriad Advertising—Global video advertising company incorporated in 2015 and is engaged in the development of native invideo advertising . 2016 rev £0.7m and £7.3m operating loss. Offer TBA Keystone Law Group— full service law firm with over 250 self-employed lawyers . Due 27 Nov. Raising £10m at 160p. Mkt Cap £50m. Revenue of £25.6 million and EBITDA of £2.1 million. In FYJan17. Beeks Financial Cloud -niche cloud computing and connectivity provider for automated (algorithmic) trading in Forex and Futures financial products . Raising £7m. Mkt Cap c.£24.5m. Due 27 Nov. FYJun17 rev £4m. Profitable at operating level. City Pub Group - owner and operator of an estate of 34 premium pubs across Southern England. £30m raise. Consistent track record of strong revenue and EBITDA growth, with a three year CAGR from FY14 to FY16 of 34.9% and 44.8% respectively, and an EBITDA margin of 14.7% in FY16. Due late Nov. Offer raising £46.6m at 170p with market cap £96m. Ten Lifestyle Hldgs. Technology-enabled lifestyle and travel platform providing trusted concierge services to the world's wealthy. Net revenue increased from £20m in the year ended 31 August 2015 to £33m in the year ended 31 August 2017, a compound annual growth rate of 29%. Offer TBA, expected 27 Nov 2017. OnTheMarket—Intention to float on AIM to raise c.£50m which will be used to fund the growth of the OnTheMarket.com portal, already the third biggest UK residential property portal provider. Expected valuation £200m to £250m. OG Graphite, brownfield development-stage graphite company focused on the reactivation of its wholly-owned Kearney natural flake graphite mine and mill located 280 km north of Toronto, Canada. Offer TBA, expected mid November.
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21 Nov 17
The Joy of Techs
This quarter we use finnCap’s Slide Rule to provide both top-down and bottom-up analysis of the UK’s Technology and Telecoms sectors. Our findings are very reassuring: the Tech sector scores the best (across all sectors) when considering Growth and Quality – Taptica*, Frontier Developments* and dotDigital* in particular stand out on these metrics. Given these attractive characteristics and growth prospects, the Tech sector is unsurprisingly one of the most expensive – currently trading at 17.2x FY1 EV/EBIT and 23.8x FY1 P/E, versus 15.0x and 18.5x respectively for the wider market. Despite valuations appearing high, we believe there are value opportunities. For example, Proactis* features in finnCap’s QVGM+ portfolio (ranked 17/462) – the company offers attractive organic and inorganic growth, with earnings forecast to grow by 26% CAGR over the next two years, but despite this, only trades on 15x FY1 earnings and offers 8% FCF yield in FY2.
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09 Nov 17
Strong trading - nudging up EBITDA
Stride is gaining market share with strong organic growth in real money gaming (RMG). In its FY17 pre-close trading update, the company expects to meet the upper end of consensus and we have increased our FY17 and FY18 EBITDA forecasts by c 2.5%. The 8Ball earnout is now complete, with the Tarco earnout period ending in December. Stride has invested heavily in technology and operational leverage should kick in as acquired customers migrate to the higher-margin proprietary platform. The stock trades at 7.0x CY18e EV/EBITDA, a meaningful discount to peers.
19 Sep 17
Stride Gaming is a UK real money gaming (RMG) operator of online bingo and soft casino games, and an international social gaming (SoG) provider. We initiate near Stride’s all-time valuation low, believing that regulatory concerns and recent weakness in social gaming have resulted in Stride trading at discount to its peers, despite stronger growth prospects, limited downside from SoG and a robust position ahead of regulatory changes. We initiate with a 264p target price and an out-of-consensus view in FY19E (EBITDA: +9%) in view of material cross-selling opportunities.
18 Sep 17
Stride Gaming (STR): Changing pace (BUY) | Lombard Risk Management* (LRM): Strategic alliance with Euroclear (CORP) | Wentworth Resources (WRL): Payments received (BUY) | Petra Diamonds (PDL): Annual results (BUY) | Amino Technologies* (AMO): German contract win (CORP) | MP Evans (MPE): Excellent interim results (BUY)
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18 Sep 17
Melrose Industries could be set to be the second former AIM company to make it into the FTSE 100 index after it was placed on the reserve list in the recently announced index changes. Baltimore Technologies had a short stint in the index at the turn of the century.
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06 Jun 17
Robust growth in real money gaming
Stride Gaming’s H117 pro forma net gaming revenues (NGR) grew 21% to £44.0m, driven by strong organic growth in the real money gaming (RMG) vertical. In a continuation of previous trends, the social gaming vertical has weakened, with a 24% decline in revenues to £4.7m, and Stride has recognised a £10.2m impairment on its InfiApps assets. However, the core RMG business is gaining market share, trading has been robust in Q317 and management has reiterated its FY17 outlook. Our headline FY17 revenue and EBITDA figures remain unchanged. Stride trades at 7.5x calendar 2017e EV/EBITDA, a meaningful discount to its peers.
30 May 17
Winning market share
Stride’s AGM statement reports strong organic growth in real money gaming and we believe it is continuing to win market share. Our forecasts are unchanged although we have slightly adjusted the mix. We forecast 11% normalised EPS growth in FY17 and strong cash generation. The FY17 multiples look very low: the P/E is only 10.2x and EV/EBITDA is 7.3x (versus 8.0x for the peer group) despite Stride’s fully regulated status and above average growth.
02 Feb 17
Small Cap Breakfast
Nando’s—The Telegraph reports rumours that the South African restaurant chain is exploring a London Listing. Indigo Holdings— The Investment Vehicle for the purpose of making investments and/or acquisitions in the Middle East Frontier Markets, including the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman is expected to start trading on NEX on or around 10 February. Impact healthcare REIT— Intends to float on the main market. Seeks to raise £160m to acquire a portfolio of up to 58 care homes. Expected Admission 7 March.
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31 Jan 17
Successfully engaging players
Stride has a clear focus on online bingo and soft gaming and is growing rapidly, with FY16 l-f-l revenue up 22%. The acquisitions of Tarco and 8Ball at the end of FY16 doubled its share of the UK bingo-led market from 5% to 10% and should deliver material synergies from FY17. Our unchanged FY17 estimates are for 11% EPS growth and strong cash generation. We expect organic growth to be augmented by further accretive acquisitions in due course. Stride’s FY17 P/E is 10.3x and the calendarised EV/EBITDA is only 7.1x, implying considerable share price upside potential.
06 Dec 16
Another step change in scale
We have materially increased our FY17 profit forecasts for Stride (EPS raised by 14%) to reflect the acquisitions of Tarco and 8Ball and a positive trading update. The acquisitions double Stride’s estimated share of the UK online bingo market from 5% to 10% and are earnings accretive from day one. They mark a significant step forward in Stride’s ambition to be a global leader in digital soft gaming verticals. Its considerable progress is not yet reflected in its calendar 2017e EV/EBITDA of 8.3x.
19 Sep 16
Australian fintech company ThinkSmart Ltd intends to switch its quotation from ASX to AIM. This is the culmination of a strategic review started nearly a year ago. Henderson is subscribing for £5m-worth of shares at 25p (A$0.44) each in a pre-flotation placing at a premium to the ASX market price, which will give the fund manager 17% of the enlarged share capital. ThinkSmart requires regulatory approvals and a ruling from the Australian Taxation Office in order to go ahead with the transfer of quotation. Shareholders will also have to agree to the move. The introduction to AIM is expected to happen in early November, following a tender offer for up to 10 million shares. The cash raised from Henderson will be used to develop the business but it will also help to finance the tender offer, which will be at an indicative share price range of A$0.38 to A$0.55. ThinkSmart provides digital, paperless and retail point of sale finance services via its SmartCheck technology. Dixons Carphone Group subsidiary Dixons Retail is a major customer and the relationship goes back 13 years. Together they have developed a leasefinance package called Upgrade Anytime, which enables customers to upgrade to the latest computer and consumer electronics equipment. A contract has recently been won with the Carphone Warehouse subsidiary. Although ThinkSmart is based in Western Australia it also has an office in Manchester.
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15 Aug 16
Stride Gaming’s interim results for the six months to end February 2016 show that it continues to execute well. L-f-l revenue was up 21%, led by its online bingo and slots offering (up 31%, well ahead of the wider market). Its social gaming business increased profit and margins on flattish revenues as management dialled down marketing while it invested in product improvements. We increased our FY16 EBITDA estimate by £0.5m to £11.8m. An inaugural interim dividend of 1.1p per share was announced, a year earlier than we had expected, in recognition of the cash-generative nature of Stride’s business and management’s positive outlook.
23 May 16
Positive update - InfiApps integration going well
Stride released a trading update with its 5 February AGM. The company reported that trading in the early part of the financial year (August year end) has started well and is in line with management expectations. Particular attention was paid to its July 2015 social gaming acquisition, InfiApps, the performance of which Stride’s management reports it is "delighted" with. The company has restated its commitment to its ‘buy and build’ strategy to supplement its positive organic growth.
09 Feb 16
Bingo-led gambling and social gaming operator
Stride Gaming listed in May 2015 with a buy-and-build strategy to help lead the expected consolidation of the fragmented, but solidly growing UK online bingo market and expand into complementary verticals such as social gaming. Since listing, progress has already been made in the form of the $22m acquisition of social gaming business InfiApps at an attractive valuation. Stride trades on an FY16e EV/EBITDA valuation of 12.6x. We believe that further accretive acquisitions and/or international expansion could drive upside from here.
03 Dec 15
Happy Birthday AIM: it’s tough being the middle child
Going into 2015, AIM had monumental expectations. 2014 was a record breaking year for London’s junior market with IPOs across the year raising £2.4bn (the largest since AIM’s inception). AIM’s 20th year made for a perfect battle ground between the bull and bear camps once more. The bulls, hailing the success of the world’s most successful growth market referencing Big Yellow, IP Group, Domino’s Pizza and of course ASOS. The bears, swiftly retorting back sending shudders down the spines of investors everywhere with the sounds of Quindell, Globo, Adgorithms, and of course where would they be without the mention of a handful of China frauds.
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02 Dec 15
Finsbury gets its Just Desserts A bright year for LiteBulb
BLU Financial and Operational Results, BLV Acquisition, CBUY Contract Win, FIF Proposed Acquisition, FITB Final Results and New Kiqplans, FXI Contract Win, IDOX Trading Update, LBB Final Results, MARL Drilling Progress and Metallurgical Results, MXO Criteria and Final Results, NOP Completion of Farm Out, PPIX Patent Application, PROX New Contract, PLI Agreement and Q1 2015 Results, RSTR Final Audited Results, STR Admission to AIM and Raise £10m.
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20 May 15