888 Holdings (EIHDF) stock surged Tuesday after it slapped a full house on the table, beating expectations across the board with its full-year results and rewarding shareholders for their troubles with a bumper dividend.
The online gambling firm recorded revenue of $520.8 million, up 21% for the period, and significantly ahead of the Factset (FDS - Get Report) consensus for a top line of $446.6 million. Adjusted Ebitda came in a $90.2 million, up 12% on a reported basis, and ahead of the consensus for $80.4 million.
Earnings per share were up 74% on the previous year, at 14.4 cents, enabling the group to grow the total dividend by around a quarter, to 15.6 cents. This is comprised of a regular dividend equal to 5.1 cents and a 10.5 cents special dividend.
Shares of 888 rose more than 10% after the opening bell in London, to change hands at 257.2 pence before paring gains to 253 pence each, which extended the year-to-date gain for the stock to nearly 20% and valued the company at just over £900 million ($1.1 billion)
"2016 was another very busy year at 888 and, testament to the skill and entrepreneurial spirit of our exceptional team, our operational performance was stronger than ever," said chairman Brian Mattingley.
888 benefitted from strong growth in its digital casino, sports betting and regulated markets segments, with poker and its so called 'emerging offerings' segments being the only areas of the business to experience a decline. Geographically, some of the strongest revenue growth came from Spain, which is now the group's second largest market.
The group said that it remained debt free at the end of the year and sounded a positive note on the outlook for the year ahead.
"Trading during the financial year to date has been in line with the Board's expectations with average daily revenue more than 11% above the previous year at constant currency," Mattingley said.
888 Holdings earns nearly two thirds of its revenue in the U.K. and Europe, according to Factset estimates, with around one tenth coming from the U.S.