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Canadians top GI Index with Amaya the big winner in 2014

12th January 2015 7:41 am GMT
Online gaming stockholders enjoyed another strong performance in 2014, with the companies making up the Gaming Intelligence index recording combined average share price growth of nearly 16 per cent over the year.The results were considerably lower than the previous year, which saw combined share price growth of nearly 28 per cent, but compared favourably to the Dow Jones and NASDAQ stock exchanges in the US, which saw growth of 8 per cent and 13 per cent respectively, and the FTSE100 in London, which recorded its first annual loss since 2011 with a 3 per cent decline. Of the 62 publicly listed companies that make up the GI list, just under half (29) saw their share value increase between January 1st and December 31st of last year, with 24 achieving double-digit growth, including four companies with triple-digit growth. At the other end of the table, there were 33 companies that saw their share price fall during 2014, of which 24 were double-digit declines.2014 Gaming Intelligence Stock Index
Company Op. Price 01.01.14Cl. Price 31.12.14% Change
Contagious Gaming Inc (Sep23rd IPO)  CA$0.14 CA$0.58 314.29%
Amaya Inc  CA$7.87 CA$28.55 262.77%
Intertain Group Ltd (Feb 18th IPO)  CA$4.20 CA$13.21 214.52%
Kambi Group plc (Jun 2nd IPO)  SEK29.30 SEK76.00 159.39%
Net Entertainment AB  SEK136.00 SEK263.00 93.38%
Bingo.com Ltd  $0.40 $0.70 75.00%
Gaming Realms plc  20.00p 34.25p 71.25%
Bet-at-home.com AG  €33.90 €57.68 70.15%
Unibet Group plc  311.00p 492.50p 58.36%
China Vanguard Group Ltd  HK$0.54 HK$0.84 55.56%
Safecharge International Group Ltd (April 2nd IPO)  171.00p 265.00p 54.97%
Groupe Partouche SA  €0.82 €1.23 50.00%
Betfair Group plc  1,080.00p 1,572.00p 45.56%
mybet Holding SE  €0.89 €1.27 42.70%
Aristocrat Leisure Ltd  AU$4.69 AU$6.56 39.87%
GVC Holdings plc  355.50p 481.00p 35.30%
Betsson AB  SEK204.00 SEK275.00 34.80%
Rank Group plc  137.30p 161.65p 17.73%
IG Group Holdings plc  615.00p 719.00p 16.91%
Tabcorp Holdings Ltd  AU$3.64 AU$4.15 14.01%
China LotSynergy Holdings Ltd  HK$0.51 HK$0.58 13.73%
Boyd Gaming Corporation  $11.24 $12.78 13.70%
Tatts Group Ltd  AU$3.10 AU$3.46 11.61%
Philweb Corp  P8.80 P9.75 10.80%
Paddy Power plc  €61.97 €68.01 9.89%
Cherry AB  SEK32.00 SEK34.50 7.81%
Churchill Downs Inc  $89.28 $95.30 6.74%
London Capital Group Holdings plc  34.00p 36.25p 6.62%
Fortuna Entertainment Group NV (PRA)  CZK118.70 CZK120.45 1.47%
Mr Green & Co AB  SEK35.40 SEK35.00 -1.13%
Optimal Payments plc  352.50p 342.75p -2.77%
International Game Technology  $18.10 $17.25 -4.70%
bwin.party digital entertainment plc  124.00p 117.80p -5.00%
Playtech plc  736.00p 689.00p -6.39%
OPAP SA  €9.67 €8.90 -7.96%
Olympic Entertainment Group AS  €1.86 €1.70 -8.60%
SNAI S.p.A  €1.39 €1.26 -9.35%
William Hill plc  401.40p 362.50p -9.69%
Caesars Acquisition Company  $12.08 $10.31 -14.65%
GTECH S.p.A  €22.21 €18.49 -16.75%
Nordic Leisure AB  SEK2.70 SEK2.20 -18.52%
XLMedia plc (Mar 21st IPO)  64.00p 52.00p -18.75%
Betting Promotion Sweden AB  SEK3.51 SEK2.84 -19.09%
888 Holdings plc  172.10p 138.50p -19.52%
ZEAL Network SE (formerly Tipp24)  €48.81 €39.25 -19.59%
PCG Entertainment plc (Dec 4th IPO)  6.50p 5.13p -21.08%
Nektan plc (Nov 3rd IPO)  255.00p 190.00p -21.96%
Sportech plc  82.50p 63.00p -23.64%
AGTech Holdings Ltd HK$1.18 HK$0.90 -23.73%
Scientific Games Corporation  $16.89 $12.73 -24.63%
Caesars Entertainment Corporation  $21.40 $15.69 -26.68%
Zynga Inc  $3.80 $2.66 -30.00%
Lotto24 AG  €3.95 €2.65 -32.91%
Ladbrokes plc  178.90p 110.50p -38.23%
Intralot SA  €1.84 €1.09 -40.76%
32Red plc  69.50p 37.75p -45.68%
Ainsworth Game Technology Ltd  AU$4.39 AU$2.36 -46.24%
Jumbo Interactive Ltd  AU$2.20 AU$1.01 -54.09%
Webis Holding plc  4.00p 1.75p -56.25%
Codere SA  €0.71 € 0.31 -56.33%
GameAccount Network plc  138.50p51.00p  -63.18%
NetPlay TV plc  20.25p 7.13p -64.79%
WinnersThe top three positions in the 2014 list were taken by Toronto-listed companies, but surprisingly it wasn’t Amaya who came out on top. That honour went instead to software supplier Contagious Gaming, which only began trading in September, having previously operated as mining company Kingsman Resources. Last year Kingsman entered into two separate agreements to acquire Canadian game developer Telos Entertainment and UK-based sports betting provider Contagious Sports under a reverse takeover deal. It began trading in September, with shares soaring 314 per cent by the end of the year - a period which also saw the company acquire Chelbis, operator of UK-facing online bingo brands House of Bingo and Gone Bingo, among others.Amaya was the real winner in 2014 of course, with shares in the company climbing an astonishing 263 per cent over the course of the year, on the back of its acquisition of PokerStars owner Rational Group. This was despite a tough end to the year when shares fell by 25 per cent in December following a raid by Canadian police and financial authorities on the Montreal offices of Amaya, investment bank Canaccord Genuity and insurance firm Manulife Financial, as part of an ongoing investigation into the acquisition. Amaya said at the time that it believed the investigation did not involve any allegations of wrongdoing by the company and would have no impact on Amaya’s business operations, employees or companies.Intertain, spun off from Amaya early in 2014 and led by former Amaya general counsel John FitzGerald, was another Canadian company to see its share price soar as it embarked on an acquisition spree which culminated in deals for Nordic-facing operator Vera&John and online bingo operator Mandalay. This was in addition to its purchase of WagerLogic from Amaya, which maintains a stake of nearly 20 per cent in Intertain.Intertain and Contagious Gaming were among seven companies involved in the online gaming sector to successfully undertake initial public offerings (IPOs) during the year.  This excludes NYX Gaming Group which only completed its CA$45m listing in Toronto on December 30th.Kambi and Safecharge were among the most successful offerings in Europe, while newly listed Nektan, XLMedia and PCG Entertainment found the going rather tougher, although it remains early days for all of these companies. The share price performance of Swedish sports betting supplier Kambi, up 159 per cent since its IPO, justified its spin-off from Unibet in June, while its financial performance was also strong with revenue up 78 per cent to €26.7m for the nine month period ended September 30th. There were other notable performances from the likes of Net Entertainment, Unibet, Betfair and Betsson, reflecting their strong financial performances during the year.Net Entertainment shares climbed 93 per cent over the course of 2014 after another outstanding year which saw the supplier expand into the UK market, as well as prepare to enter the New Jersey and Spanish markets. Even confirmation of a SEK92.1m (€10m) tax bill from the Swedish Tax Agency was unable to hinder the company, as it secured its spot in the top 5 of the GI Index. It was a good year too for Betfair which saw its shares finish the year up 46 per cent, hitting a 52-week high of 1,470.00 pence in the process in December after posting strong revenue and profit growth for the first half ended October 31st. This came alongside an announcement that it would return £200m of capital to its shareholders.LosersIt wasn’t all good news for companies making up the GI list however, with more than half of the listed companies posting declines, including the likes of Playtech, International Game Technology (IGT), bwin.party digital entertainment and William Hill.bwin.party’s shares surprisingly outperformed those of Playtech, buoyed by a 20 per cent rise in November after it admitted it was in talks with interested parties regarding "a variety of potential business combinations designed to create additional value for shareholders".Playtech, however, dipped after it said it would look to make further acquisitions with a new bond issue.IGT shares were down nearly 5 per cent in its last appearance in the chart before its acquisition by GTECH is completed next month. GTECH shares performed even worse however, falling 17 per cent. At the bottom of the table were some notable names propping up the chart, with GameAccount Network and NetPlay TV investors marking down 2014 as a year to forget. Shares in Netplay TV slumped 65 per cent after the company warned in October that it expected full year results to be materially lower than forecast, admitting that it had not achieved the targeted levels of new customers and revenue in the third quarter. The year also saw Charles Butler step down as CEO after four years in the role.GameAccount’s shares were also impacted by poor financial results as it incurred a loss of £0.9m for the first half of the year, with revenue declining by a half to £4.2m. Its shares were down 63 per cent by the end of the year, despite the company making significant progress in the US through its free-play Simulated Gaming product. The likes of 32Red and Ladbrokes also saw the value of their shares fall, down 46 per cent and 38 per cent respectively, while 888’s shares fell 20 per cent during the year. With the UK’s contentious Point of Consuption Tax now in full force, these operators will be hoping for better news and a return to growth in their respective share prices during 2015.
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