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Skillz Has To Prove Itself to Investors Right Now

With bears circling Skillz (NYSE:SKLZ), investors need to think twice before considering this beaten-down firm. SKLZ stock peaked at $46.30 at the height of the Nasdaq composite’s rise. Since then, the index has bifurcated. Most of the FAANG stocks rose to lift the technology index while speculative ideas languished.

Source: Shutterstock

What is wrong with Skillz? Is the company stock investable after posting wider losses in the fourth quarter and its equity offering afterward?

Skillz priced an offering of 32 million shares for $24 on March 19. The company said that it would use the proceeds for working capital and general corporate purposes. The stock sale undermines the stock price. Markets reacted badly to the stock sale by quickly sending shares to $20 by the end of that month. It continued to head lower, trading recently near $15.

The short float on Skillz stock is now around 25%. Three of the five analysts on Wall Street rate the stock as a “buy.” The average price target is $31.40, implying a 108% upside, according to Tipranks.

Readers must do their homework on this speculation in light of the dramatic underperformance compared to the index.

Poor Fourth-Quarter Results

In the fourth quarter, the leading mobile games platform posted revenue up 95% to $68 million. For the year, it expects revenue will rise by 92% from last year to a range of $225 million to $230 million. Gross profit grew by a healthy 95% to $64 million. Yet in the quarter, the company managed to lose $44 million, worse than the $9 million loss in the quarter last year.

Gross marketplace volume was $463 million, up by 78%. Just as Palantir (NYSE:PLTR) posted losses because of stock-based compensation, Skillz did the same. Per slide 14, the company booked compensation costs through the research and development, general and administrative, and sales and marketing line items. A one-time transaction-related expense added another $4.7 million in costs.

Investors who bet on a newly listed firm would enjoy positive stock price momentum lost a bundle. Fundamentals are disconcerting.


Optimistic investors may bet against the bears by anticipating the potential of a deal with the National Football League. Furthermore, growth in India is a positive catalyst. On its conference call, Chief Executive Officer Andrew Paradise cited India as its first international market outside of North America.

The addressable market for international is four times that of North America. Ninety percent of its revenue is in the latter, so when it launches outside later this year, expect Skillz to raise its growth forecast.

Paradise said he expects India’s mobile gaming market will grow at 26% annually. By comparison, the U.S. market will only grow by 6%. Overestimating the revenue per user is the executive’s flaw in this optimistic forecast. For example, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) makes the most money per user from the North American market. The site also earns more advertising per active user domestically.

With Skillz stock in a severe downtrend, markets are not buying into the growth story. Despite the doubt, the platform has more positives ahead. Google Play updated its terms of service, which enables emerging content categories. The firm does not rely on the Play Store for its installed user base. Instead, users on the Android mobile system are growing at twice the rate of iOS on alternative app stores.

Typical for any firm in the growth phase, Skillz expects a sharp increase in revenue growth this quarter. It will flatten after that (from Q2 to Q4). Chief Financial Officer Scott Henry said that significant investments will lead to market share growth while driving long-term value. In the long-term, it expects sustained revenue growth.

Your Takeaway from SKLZ Stock

Investors cannot ignore the severe downtrend hurting Skillz’s stock price. It has a sentiment score of 3/100, according to Stock Rover. The stock scores poorly on value compared to its peers.

SKLZ stock
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Source: Stock Rover

The company will need to post a steady increase in revenue in 2021 to lift the value score. The low sentiment score is a measure of the stock’s performance on the market.

Management has time to prove itself to the wary investor. It had better do so sooner than that. Otherwise, shares risk falling to below $10. At single digits, the company will have one of the lowest market capitalizations in the gaming sector.

That would dissuade investors from buying SKLZ stock.

Disclosure: On the date of publication, Chris Lau did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. 

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