In its first full quarterly report as a public company, WPT Enterprises
WPTE -- the company behind the wildly popular World Poker Tour show on the Travel Channel -- experienced a fourth-quarter rise in revenues to $5.7 million from $379,000 last year. On a GAAP basis, the company posted a net loss of $459,000, or $0.02 per share. But back out a $656,000 one-time non-cash charge related to some consultant stock options granted at the inception of the company, and WPTE actually showed a penny-per-share profit.
For the full year, the company showed a $752,000, or $0.04-per-share, GAAP profit on $17.6 million in revenues.
Following Tuesday afternoon's report, WPTE shares fell 2.6% to $18.98 per share on Wednesday. At LakesEntertainment
Still, the company's performance was promising. Domestic television licensing revenues jumped from $300,000 to $3.2 million in the fourth quarter, as the company delivered eight World Poker Tour episodes in Q4 of 2004 vs. one episode in the same period in 2003. WPTE also gained $2.5 million from a combination of international television licensing, product licensing, merchandise sales, and sponsorship fees.
WPTE expects first-quarter revenues of $2.9 million to $3.5 million, down sequentially because fewer episodes are scheduled for delivery during the quarter.
WPT Enterprises is uniquely positioned as a poker brand. The company faces stiff competition from Harrah's
The company has also been capitalizing on its WPT brand to sell products such as poker chips, DVDs, and even start an instructional camp. During the second quarter, the company will leverage the brand further, introducing an international gaming website in a partnership with WagerWorks. In my opinion, the WPT brand gives the company a good chance at success at online gaming, which is an extremely attractive business, with many characteristics akin to eBay.
I think poker is definitely here to stay, and I like where WPTE is headed. It may still be too early to gauge the company's value, so the stock may be inappropriate for value-oriented investors. But if you're into speculation, WPT Enterprises may be worth a bet.
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