This has been a difficult year for sports fans. The coronavirus pandemic has kept many people locked down at home without the diversion of sports. But several sports-related stocks can thrive in this uncertain environment -- and may even get a boost when the industry recovers.
Here are three such stocks to buy in June. The first pick is Walt Disney (DIS -1.20%), a diversified entertainment company poised to bounce back from the pandemic. The second is DraftKings (DKNG -1.52%), an investment in the rapidly growing sports betting industry. Third is Sirius XM Radio (SIRI -1.29%), a satellite radio provider that is a market leader in the lucrative sports broadcasting industry.
1. Walt Disney
Walt Disney is a diversified, blue chip entertainment company that makes its money from a global network of theme parks, films, and its sports TV network ESPN. The company has been slammed by the pandemic with parks closed, films delayed, and sports seasons postponed. These challenges have sent Disney's stock down around 14% year to date, significantly worse than the S&P 500, which is down around 1% over the same period. But the company has several important revenue drivers that make it a top sports stock to buy in June, despite the tough economic environment.
Disney's media and streaming segments are relatively pandemic-resistant. And both businesses have enjoyed significant revenue growth in the second quarter because people are stuck at home. While Disney's total revenue increased by 21% from $14.9 billion to $18 billion in the second quarter, the media networks business grew 28% from $5.7 billion to $7.2 billion, and the direct-to-customer streaming business grew by a massive 273% from $1.1 billion to $4.1 billion.
Disney's media networks business faces long-term challenges from the trend of cord-cutting, which is expected to affect 25% of all U.S. households by 2022. The segment's flagship ESPN network is also experiencing slowing ad sales because of the postponement of sports seasons due to the coronavirus. But growth in streaming products like ESPN+, Disney+, and Hulu will help make up for the weakness in the traditional media business and help Disney further monetize its lucrative intellectual properties and partnerships with major sports leagues.
Disney's streaming business has a wide moat because of its heavy focus on live, sports-related content through ESPN+. This sports component will give Disney's streaming business an edge over competitors like Netflix that don't offer live sports content. Disney bundles ESPN+, Disney+, and Hulu in a cost-effective package that will give it an added advantage over Netflix for sports-hungry consumers.
DraftKings is a growth stock that offers investors an opportunity to bet on the rapidly expanding sports betting industry. The company went public in April 2020 through a reverse merger with Diamond Eagle Acquisition, a blank-check acquisition company, designed to allow it to list without a traditional IPO. Shares have performed well amid the pandemic with the stock price soaring 304% year to date.
DraftKings combines its sports betting brand with a betting-technology service provider called SBTech. This is a synergistic combination because it allows DraftKings to handle its betting platform's technology needs without relying on third-party service providers. Right now, the company is the only vertically integrated pure play on sports betting in the market.
It's experiencing a drought of sports content because the pandemic has interrupted major American sports leagues. But the company has found a way around this problem by leveraging its nonsports-related gambling content. In the first quarter, DraftKings expanded its online casino that offers virtual blackjack, roulette, and poker. It has also launched new esports betting offerings like eNASCAR, Counter-Strike, and Rocket League.
The new offerings allowed DraftKings to perform well in the first quarter, with revenue growing 30% from $68.09 million to $88.56 million, despite the pandemic. The company is poised for continued long-term growth because of its leading position in sports betting, a market projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 11.5% through 2027.
3. Sirius XM
Sirius XM is a satellite radio company with exposure to the sports industry through its popular sports news, commentary, and play-by-play channels. The company has a partnership with ESPN that provides two channels, ESPNEWS and ESPN radio, on the platform.
The coronavirus has been a big challenge for Sirius because it has to pay for sports content even though sports leagues aren't playing. But this bad situation looks set to get better in the near term. The NBA has a tentative restart date in late July, and the NFL expects to have a full season in 2020. Baseball is yet to confirm a start date, but owners are pushing for play to resume in early July.
Sirius posted solid first-quarter results despite coronavirus-related challenges in the economy and the suspension of sports seasons. Total revenue grew 12% from $1.74 billion to $1.95 billion while net income grew 65% from $162 million to $268 million. The business is very coronavirus-resistant because around 81% of revenue comes from recurring subscriptions, while the remaining 20% comes from advertising.
Sirius can power long-term growth through strategic investments. In February, the company invested $75 million into SoundCloud, an open audio ecosystem for new recording artists. This comes after an advertising deal between SoundCloud and Sirius' Pandora business that enables advertisers to purchase SoundCloud ads directly on Pandora. Sirius XM acquired Pandora in September 2018 for $3.5 billion, adding valuable diversification.