Amaya Inc. (TSX:AYA)(NASDAQ:AYA) is one of the most fascinating companies on the market. The software company caters to the gaming and entertainment industry, offering a multitude of online gambling games, including the PokerStars brand.
Amaya has been no stranger to controversy. Over the past year the company has been involved in less than stellar circumstances, ranging from executives being linked to insider trading to ongoing court cases that could cost the company nearly $1 billion in damages.
So what exactly makes the company so great?
Amaya is expanding … constantly
Online gambling is a huge business that’s only getting bigger. As of the last quarter, Amaya had amassed 103.5 million customer registrations. If you think this is a large client base, you need to consider that Amaya isn’t even operating in most parts of the U.S. yet. State laws and regulatory approvals are required to operate in certain jurisdictions, and Amaya is in the process of getting those necessary approvals from a handful of states.
Approval was granted to operate in New Jersey earlier this year, and once Amaya started operations there, the company quickly saw a boost in revenues and in market share across the state. As of the most recent quarter, Amaya’s market share of the online poker market is thought to be over 70%.
Earlier this summer, the Euro 2016 competition was held in France. The games drew huge crowds, but there was also massive potential for Amaya in the form of sports betting, which has an almost feverish following in some countries.
Capitalizing on this, Amaya sought out and was granted approval to operate in France, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. As an example of how lucrative the revenue from sports betting could be for Amaya, estimates from the French market alone were thought to be as high as $50 million.
Amaya’s leadership issues are over
One of the long-standing issues dragging Amaya down has been the ongoing investigation of the now ex-CEO, David Baazov. Baazov is alleged to have tipped off individuals about major deals the company was going to make and then profited considerably on the news.
While Baazov has since been removed from his position, he does remain as the company’s single largest shareholder; at one point he was contemplating taking the company private.
The important thing to note here is that Amaya’s previous leadership issues have no bearing on the overall course of the company, which remains strong–if not stronger than it was a year ago.
Strong growth, strong results
In the most recent quarter, Amaya posted revenues of US$285.9 million, a 10% increase over the US$259.5 million reported for the same quarter last year. Of this total, approximately 75.4% of this revenue can be attributed to poker revenue with the remaining revenue consisting of Casino & Sportsbook revenues of US$59.6 million, and other revenues amounting to just over US$10 million.
Much of this growth was attributed to growth in the online casino and poker offerings of the company.
In my opinion, Amaya remains a great opportunity for investors who are looking to diversify their portfolios with a tech stock that will see growth over the long term.