Shares of PENN Entertainment (NASDAQ:PENN) witnessed a 6% increase intra-day today following an upgrade by BofA Securities, spurred by the early success of ESPN Bet.
Analysts raised the stock rating from Neutral to Buy, also increasing the price target from $27 to $30, suggesting over a 22% upside from the previous Friday’s close.
The analysts’ optimism is rooted in the performance of ESPN Bet, noting three key factors: strong initial app downloads and activity, promotional discipline, and stable Q3 earnings for PENN’s core gaming business.
The analysts highlighted ESPN Bet’s rapid rise in app downloads and rankings, securing a consistent top #1 or #2 position among free iOS apps since the previous Tuesday. The app has garnered 865,000 downloads and maintains a high 4.8 rating in the app store, achievements made even before NFL Sunday data inclusion.
Despite these positive developments, the analysts believe PENN still needs to focus on three critical areas for continued success: user retention, technological infrastructure including in-game stability and diverse betting options, and expanding its market presence in various states, particularly in New York.