The World Cup – the biggest global sporting event – kicked off on Sunday in Qatar. Despite the tournament’s controversial location, the soccer (or as it is known by the rest of the world, football) extravaganza is expected to draw an audience of billions who will tune in to watch icons such as Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe attempt to get their hands on the Jules Rimet trophy and write their names and their countries’ fellow representatives into history.
Just for context, the previous 2018 World Cup saw an audience of over 3.6 billion people watch matches, with the final drawing 1.12 billion viewers – that’s more than 5x above the viewing figures for the 2022 Super Bowl.
Such a global happening is bound to have commercial implications and could be advantageous to certain categories. To which ones exactly? Streaming platforms, online betting, soccer video games, digital advertising and sporting goods/apparel, all come readily to mind as segments which could benefit.
With this in mind, we delved into the TipRanks database and pulled up two names which could get a boost from this global sporting festival. Let’s kick off.
Electronic Arts (EA)
Attempting to emulate the skills of global sports gods is a favorite pastime for gamers and the first stock will look at is an expert at providing such thrills. Electronic Arts is one of the video gaming space’s titans and a home computer gaming trailblazer.
Specifically relating to the World Cup, its EA Sports titles include the FIFA soccer game in addition to titles such as NBA Live, Madden NFL, and NHL. The portfolio, however, extends beyond just sports titles, and includes some of gaming’s most well-known brands like Apex Legends, Battlefield, Need for Speed, and Plants vs. Zombies, amongst others.
After benefiting immensely from the work-from-home trend during the pandemic, the reopening and then the economic downturn have been headwinds for the gaming industry as sales have cooled down in 2022.
As such, EA’s latest quarterly report, for the second fiscal quarter (September quarter) was a mixed affair. Net bookings fell by 5.4% year-over-year to $1.75 billion, missing the Street’s forecast by $30 million, while the company also lowered its FY 2023 net bookings outlook from the range between $7.90 billion to $8.10 billion to the range between $7.65 billion and $7.85 billion. The Street’s forecast stood at $7.97 billion.
However, the company beat expectations on the bottom-line with EPS of $1.07 coming in ahead of the $1.00 consensus estimate. Moreover, the company raised its FY 2023 EPS forecast to around $3.11-$3.34 from the prior guidance of $2.79-$2.87.
Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter makes note of the strong performance in the current quarter from the game which stands to benefit the most from the World Cup.
“FIFA is off to a record start so far this quarter, and the company announced several initiatives to drive Ultimate Team engagement as the tournament progresses over the remainder of the quarter,” the analyst said. “We’re confident in EA’s ability to grow the franchise in a World Cup year, and especially confident in its ability to grow this quarter, which is historically strong on its own… We continue to believe that the video game industry is undervalued, having historically traded at a significant premium to the market multiple.”
To this end, Pachter rates EA shares an Outperform (i.e. Buy) while his $164 price target makes room for 12-month gains of 25%. (To watch Pachter’s track record, click here)
Looking at the consensus breakdown, based on 9 Buy ratings vs. 4 Holds, EA receives a Moderate Buy consensus rating. (See EA stock forecast on TipRanks)
Let’s now look at a stock that stands to benefit in a different way from the World Cup. FuboTV is a streaming platform, and one that is mainly focused on sports.
In fact, upon its launch in 2015, the streaming service was focused solely on soccer, but in 2017 changed tack to become an all-sports service and later, targeting the cord-cutting trend morphed into a virtual multichannel video programming distributor (vMVPD) model offering also non-sports programs. That said, sports remain the main focal point and depending on region (the service is available in the U.S., Canada and Spain), subscribers can watch EPL, NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, MLS, CPL games as well as international football.
Those subscribers have been growing with each quarter as was the case again in Q3. North American subscribers rose by 31% year-over-year to a record 1,231,000, while international subs reached 358,000. All this helped the company generate revenue of $225 million, above the $213 million expected on Wall Street.
Ongoing growth aside, the problem for FUBO has been one of profitability – or lack thereof – a situation the company hopes to fix by 2025. While the continued losses, along with other issues such as rising competition and the effects of inflation are worries for Wedbush’s Michael Pachter, the analyst believes the fact FUBO raised its revenue and subscriber outlook when it released the Q3 metrics is indicative of how the company can make headway on account of the games.
“We think management’s confidence around Q4 results in due in part to increased political advertising, as well as the anticipated uptick in subscribers driven by the upcoming World Cup, which fuboTV will uniquely be broadcasting in 4K,” Pachter explained. “Given the upside and downside risk, we think the current share price affords a compelling entry point.”
To this end, Pachter has an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating for FUBO shares, backed by a $5 price target. There’s plenty of upside – 80% to be exact – should the target be met over the next 12 months.
Overall, with 3 Buy and Hold ratings, each, the stock claims a Moderate Buy consensus view. (See FUBO stock forecast on TipRanks)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.