Shares of Scientific Games Corp. (NASDAQ:SGMS) jumped as much as 14.9% in trading Tuesday after an analyst upgrade. This comes a day after the stock jumped on a stronger-than-expected earnings report. At 3:30 p.m. EDT, shares were still up 11.5% on the day.
The driver of today's jump was analyst Steven Wieczynski at Stifel Nicolaus, who raised his price target from $24 to $35. The price is below where shares are trading today, and Wieczynski didn't raise his rating on the stock, keeping it at a "hold."
In a note to analysts, Wieczynski said debt refinancing and improving fundamentals could lead to accelerated margin expansion. That would be welcome news for investors a quarter after reporting a $0.44 loss per share.
Long-term, improving earnings will be far more significant than any analyst price target. But keep in mind that analysts are still expecting a loss of $1.05 per share in 2018, so profitability is still a long way off. That's a big reason to stay away from betting on this lottery stock and will keep me away from shares today.