3 gaming stocks to take a gamble on

The gaming industry is a rapidly-expanding monster, with the capacity to gamble on our handheld devices seeing a new segment of customer enter the market.

These 3 ASX gaming stocks could be worth a gamble, but all good investors will do their own due diligence first before pressing the button.

Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL)

Shares in gaming content manufacturer and distributor Aristocrat Leisure are at a 52-week high, zooming up to $27.02 at the time of writing from $19.48 at this time last year.

Wealth management stalwart Ord Minnett is banking on the company’s ability to leverage digital technology even further than it has already done, with Aristocrat’s digital portfolio diversification giving it plenty of options for monetising the market better with time.

Macquarie have a current outperform rating on the stock with a price target of $27.15 off the back of slot machine survey results which tipped the industry to grow at least 14% by 2020.

Goldman Sachs are positive Aristocrat shares will reach its $30.70 price forecast set earlier this month so if you’ve been considering an Aristocrat buy in you are clearly not alone, with several big-name brokers having your back on this one.

Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN)

Shares in resort and entertainment company Crown Resorts Ltd have tracked up fairly steadily lately sitting up 0.4% to $13.03 the time of writing.

Crown is seeing some pretty stiff competition from Mantra Group Ltd (ASX: MTR) right now after AccorHotels moved to take over the company, with the transaction being finalised by the end of next month meaning Accor will take the mantle of Australia’s biggest hotel chain.

Crown is leveraging its portfolio of hotels and casino operations in prime tourist hotspots well, with Chinese visitors being a particularly lucrative sector for the company to tap into as Chinese tourism booms.

Citi placed a buy rating on Crown at the beginning of April, lifting its price target from $13.75 to $14.50.

Crown is also seeing some healthy competition out of Star Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX: SGR), but with a market cap of $4.84 billion to Crown’s $8.94 billion, Star has a way to go before things are too easily comparable.

If you trust the instinct of Citi brokers you’d have Crown as a buy right now, but no doubt it’s always worth doing plenty of your own research before you jump.

Ainsworth Gaming Technology Limited (ASX: AGI)

Shares in smaller cap gaming machine manufacturer Ainsworth Gaming have been on a downward slide in the past 6 months or so, dropping from a September 2017 high of $2.75 to sit at $1.93 at the time of writing.

Ainsworth is much more of a speculative pick in the segment, but its performance looks pretty reliable, with half-year results released in February outlining good momentum going into the second half of FY18 with the company showing strength in its North American market position with 3000 machines in participation – up 7%.

Ainsworth has forecast its second half profit before tax to be in the realm of $42.2 million as momentum also begins to pick up in its Latin American market – where revenues lifted 11% to $36.6 million in the first half.

On home soil Ainsworth saw a 10% decrease in total revenue on the previous corresponding period for the first half, but its strategic investments in online gaming are what you should keep an eye on if Ainsworth is on your watchlist, with the company seeing revenues from third party platforms increase by 133% in the first half, with no signs of slowing down.

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Motley Fool contributor Carin Pickworth has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Crown Resorts Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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