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Amaya Shares Up as Owner Reliance on Poker Wanes

  • Katie CallahanKatie Callahan
  • Poker might drop on the priority list for Amaya this year.

The parent company of PokerStars, Amaya, signaled the company’s diversification with a shift to casino games and sports betting that rose shares.

According to Bloomberg Technology, PokerStars Chief Executive Officer Rafi Ashkenazi forecast higher 2017 profit, with adjusted earnings this year up to $1.94 to $2.13 a share, past analyst views of $1.91.

With the U.S. largely turned away from poker and a turn toward recreational players from PokerStars, the company has turned from its bread and butter to try something else.

Amaya reported to Bloomberg that 70 percent of its revenue in the fourth quarter came from poker from 78 percent a year ago, while online casino and sportsbook jumped to 25.8 percent from 17.2 percent.

“The company is managing poker erosion, growing casino/sports and containing costs,” wrote Kevin Wright, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity Corp., in a research note. Wright has a buy rating on the stock.

Last year, Amaya’s total long-term debt was $2.53 billion, and Ashkenazi is working to reduce that debt, pay back PokerStars founders and contend Australian legislation that would push Amaya out of the market, reported Bloomberg.

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