Friday March 11,21016 : INTERTAIN SHARES RISE DESPITE TENFOLD INCREASE IN LOSSES
Share price boosted by company statement that it is mulling a sale and has received a number of "expressions of interest."
The often controversial Toronto-listed online gambling group Intertain's shares soared 23 percent to $11.49 Thursday on news that the company's directors are considering the sale of the company and have received "many expressions of interest."
The rise was a remarkable turnaround from the 27 percent decline over the past year, according to Bloomberg business news. The company said it had hired Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. to lead discussions with potential acquirers.
The "for sale" announcement was made as part of the company's fourth-quarter earnings report, which shows that Amaya Inc. holds a 2.7 percent stake in the company.
Intertain reported fourth-quarter profit of 59 Canadian cents a share, compared with the average analyst estimate of 52 Canadian cents.
The company forecast full-year revenue for fiscal 2016 of Cdn$ 460 million to C$500 million, in line with the average estimate of C$480.8 million, along with total adjusted EBITDA of between Cdn$ 175 million and Cdn$ 195 million.
The Intertain Q4 figures showed strong revenue growth across its brands, but heavy acquisition investments resulted in an alarming ten-fold increase in the group's losses to Cdn$ 134.4 million over the quarter and Cdn$ 227 million over the full year.
Vera&John casino revenues were up 45 percent to Cdn$22.7 million in the quarter, whilst Jackpotjoy and Mandalay contributed Q4 revenues up 20 percent to Cdn$ 90.7 million (Jackpot Joy) and 7 percent up at Cdn$ 11.7million.
Outgoing CEO John Fitzgerald said the results illustrated the reliability and performance of the company's subsidiaries and a growing player base.
The board has formed a special committee of directors David Danziger, John Fielding and Paul Pathak to investigate the "misaligned" share price with its business results and make recommendations.
The committee follows that convened last year to examine the bad press and plunging share price the company experienced in the Spruce Management and excessive management commissions debacle .
The company's statement also advised the immediate departure of directors Stan Dunford and Mark Redmond, who will be replaced by Pala Interactive CEO and former Bwin.party co-CEO Jim Ryan. Intertain director David Danziger has been appointed chairman.