Sunday share tips: Gfinity, Moneysupermarket
(ShareCast News) - In the Mail on Sunday, Joanne Hart focussed on growing UK esports leader Gfinity for the Midas column, noting that video games have traditionally been associated with teenage boys in their bedrooms.
However, gaming enthusiasts have grown up with the technology, and Gfinity has been hoping to capitalise on their willingness to watch other gamers compete.
Gfinity has launched its flagship 'Elite Series' from its arena in Fulham, south west London, with the final held this weekend seeing fans queue for ringside seats and many more reportedly watching from home.
The niche attraction of esports is no longer niche, either, with both BT Sports and BBC Three broadcasting the series, as well as a number of international channels.
Its format is appealing to broadcasters, mirroring a football tournament in that it features specific fixtures at fixed times, allowing them to schedule precisely and promote accurately.
The existence of regular series also worked in building a fanbase, as they could follow the growth of players and develop an interest in certain team members - again in a similar way to football tournament.
Gfinity was also looking to grow its brand tie-ups as well, having been sponsored by HP and its Omen gaming PC range in its first series.
Last month, it was also announced as the esports partner to Formula 1, being contracted to deliver the company's gaming series, which will end with finals broadcast live from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November.
Its founder and chief, Neville Upton, is no spring chicken either, having founded a call centre business in 1998 and selling it to Serco for £60m in 2011.
"Gfinity is loss-making and likely to remain so for at least two more years as it invests in future growth," Hart wrote in Midas.
"But eSports are developing fast and Gfinity is at the vanguard. Nigel Wray, who owns Saracens rugby club, has a 13.6 per cent stake and Upton himself owns 7.6 per cent.
"At 27.25p, the shares should deliver long-term rewards."
Over in the Sunday Times, John Collingridge looked at Moneysupermarket - the price comparison website known for its booty-shaking commercials.
He noted that the company had suffered amid a lack of bulk switching deals, where energy firms paid it to sign up thousands of customers.
Collingridge said the company had the politicians - from both sides - to thank for that, as cross-party plans to cap energy prices had destroyed the appetite of the energy firms to hoover up new customers.
The issue wasn't looking likely to let up soon, with Moneysupermarket's shares down 11% since late July.
And yet despite the lack of oomph in the energy switching market, there were still plenty of niches the firm could corner - just 52% of those looking for a broadband deal were using a comparison site, according to research from the competition watchdog.
The bundling together of services to collect a single, lucrative commission, such as gas, broadband and mobile, could become a good new revenue stream, Collingridge said, as could car finance.
But there were some background concerns too, with the Competition and Markets Authority looking into further regulating the comparison sector, and likely to demand more transparency in the near future.
"Moneysupermarket has less to worry about than some rivals, such as confused.com, which is owned by the insurer Admiral," Collingridge said.
"Should the watchdog decide to tackle this obvious conflict of interest, it could spell trouble for Confused.
"Despite the regulatory concerns and the energy giants' woes, there is plenty of scope for growth at Moneysupermarket. Buy."