William Hill Looks Like a Good "Each-Way" Bet

LONDON -- William Hill (LSE: WMH.L  ) , the U.K.'s biggest bookmaker, has been a good "each-way" bet for investors over the last ten years.

Since 2002, its shares have risen 70%, though there have been humps and bumps along the way. However, if you had stayed the course and consistently reinvested the dividends over the last decade, the shares would have returned you an impressive 145%, which is equivalent to an annualized return of 9.5%.

This morning the bookmaker -- which has 2,370 licensed betting offices in the U.K. -- confirmed that it was on track to meet full-year expectations.

The company said, "We have seen a strong performance in our multi-channel UK business in the first half, with a good performance from both over-the-counter and machines in Retail, and with our focus on innovation and investment continuing to deliver outstanding growth at William Hill Online."

Net revenue climbed 11%, with retail sales up 5% and online revenues climbing 30%. According to the company, "Mobile remains a top priority and continues to outperform our expectations."

William Hill then added: "The William Hill Sportsbook app, which has been top-ranked since its launch in the Apple App Store in mid-February, has delivered more than 40,000 new customers. Our rapidly growing mobile business increased to 22% of our Online sports betting turnover and 11% of gaming net revenue in the first half."

Currently, the company is penciled in for full-year profits of 267 million pounds, which would value the business at about 10 times earnings. The yield stands at a respectable 3.8%, even though the shares have climbed 48% since the start of the year to 299 pence.

This morning's interim results from William Hill underline how household names can become wonderful investments for ordinary investors.

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David, a former bookie, owns shares in William Hill. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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