Space, Cinema, and the world of online gambling; three stocks and a venture into the unknown, but what is life without a little risk?
The monotony of life in a pandemic-inflicted world has definitely made us all a bit stir crazy, if not a bit more thrill-seeking than we were back in the early days of 2020. So, whilst restrictions on daily life continue outside our homes, why not put this itch to good use and invest in some very high-risk stocks that could get your blood pumping.
Please keep in mind these stocks are not for the faint-hearted and risk-averse investors should definitely keep clear. With that being said, let’s move on to the good stuff!
It has been a good few weeks since the overhyped short-squeeze on both Gamestop and AMC Entertainment Holdings (NYSE: AMC). Investing in this stock was contrarian prior to this, and remains so currently. Throughout its 2 weeks in the sun, AMC stock soared close to 300% at multiple points.
Investing in this stock presents a very large risk as the cinema business, in general, has been struggling with the effects of lockdowns and heightened restrictions over the past year. In particular, AMC came very close to declaring bankruptcy; it was already in a state of heightened debt by the end of 2019 and was expected to pay $311 million in interest expense throughout 2020. This is problematic as that is more than AMC’s peak operating income during an average year.
Although there is some hope of AMC and other cinema companies getting back on track after the pandemic is over, this industry is declining. 2002 saw the average ticket sales peak in the U.S. at 1.58 billion. By 2019 this had declined to 1.28 billion.
However, on February 4th, AMC re-opened two movie theatres in Boston. If this trend continues, AMC may be able to recover from its current financial woes. Whilst some cinemas must survive coronavirus, an investor in this company must ask themselves if this is the company to beat all the odds?
DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG) went public in 2019, and unlike the cinema industry, it actually flourished during this pandemic with many people taking up online betting in their homes. Indeed, online betting was only legalized on a federal level in the U.S. in 2018. Since then, a total of 26 states have legalized or voted to legalize the practice. Another three states have made moves to open up the possibility of legal online betting in the future.
Although it was originally founded as a fantasy sports betting company, DraftKings has since expanded into online (normal) sports betting and online casino games. Since then, the company has been growing much more rapidly. However, the cost of entering new gambling spaces can be huge and the losses that DraftKings have incurred could be rather worrying. In 2019, it reported a loss of $146.6 million on sales of $323.4 million — that is a loss increase of almost 50%. In 2018 it saw a loss of $76.8 million from sales of $225.3 million.
According to the CFO, Jason Parks, it can take up to 2 years for an online betting market to become profitable, thus with many states legalizing online gambling, DraftKings will have to battle through several years of losses before it shows real growth.
Space tourism is still a novelty and whilst Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE) claims to be the world’s first and only public company for commercial space flights, it is tenuously keeping a hold on that second aspect. With three new companies planning to go public via a reverse merger, there seems to be competition on the horizon for commercial space tourism.
However, Virgin Galactic does have the global Virgin brand to distinguish it, as well as its current deals with NASA which will eventually also bring in revenue for Virgin Galactic. But, the prospects of me and you travelling to space are very far off, as the company is still in its test flight phase — having delayed yet another test just last week. If the currently scheduled tests go well, then the ball could be rolling for commercial flights later this year. But even if commercial flights are opened up this year only those willing to fork out $250,000 will be able to buy a ticket for several years after.
The potential of this stock is sky high, but when it comes to space travel, the reality is a lot less certain. Investors in this stock must be prepared for a long-drawn-out process of failure, heightened competition, and actual spaceship crashes.
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MyWallSt operates a full disclosure policy. MyWallSt staff currently holds long positions in companies mentioned above. Read our full disclosure policy here.