Why Global Cash Access Holdings, Inc. Shares Plummeted Today

Is Global Cash Access Holdings' drop meaningful? Or just another movement?

Mar 26, 2014 at 2:17PM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Global Cash Access Holdings, (NYSE:GCA) plunged 16% Wednesday after the company announced its cash access agreements with Caesars Entertainment will not be renewed.

So what: Under the existing contract, which is set to expire on March 31, 2014, Global Cash Access provided Caesars' ATM services, point-of-sale debit and credit card cash access services, and ticket redemption device services. GCA has agreed to continue working with Caesars during a transition period to facilitate transfer of services to another provider.

In explaining the decision, GCA stated it was "not willing to accept the business and financial terms proposed by Caesars regarding the renewal of these agreements." Instead, GCA insists it will continue to focus resources on "further strengthening relationships with its key strategic customers."

Now what: This shouldn't come as a big surprise. Remember, when GCA reported fourth quarter results just two weeks ago, it warned investors it was anticipating "less favorable pricing terms associated with several customer contract renewals." Apparently Caesars' terms simply weren't worthwhile.

Notably, however, GCA also reaffirmed its full year 2014 guidance, which calls for earnings per share between $0.82 and $0.87, and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization between $73 million and $76 million.

This doesn't rule out the possibility of GCA opting out of future gaming industry contract renewals, but at least investors can take solace knowing GCA doesn't overwhelmingly rely on such deals. What's more, even taking the low end of GCA's 2014 guidance means shares are currently trading around 8 times this year's expected earnings. As a result, I think today's drop could represent a solid opportunity for patient long-term investors to step in.

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