January 2, 2008

GigaMedia Update

From the Fool:

An uptight Congress has "protected" U.S. citizens from online gambling by outlawing it, but the rest of the world is under no such delusions. Few firms abroad are flourishing more in this market than Taiwanese gaming operator GigaMedia (Nasdaq: GIGM), which runs a host of online entertainment software and services.

Gaming revenue doubled in the third quarter, driven by a 72% rise in poker and casino software. The Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation also saw its online mahjong game site continue to establish itself firmly as the leader in terms of revenue. Add in an exclusive agreement with Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) to provide a basketball platform, and you have the makings of a prime-time run-up in the stock.

CAPS' take
Nearly 1,500 professional and novice investors at Motley Fool CAPS have weighed in on GigaMedia, with 98% overwhelmingly believing that the company will outperform the market. Fully one-third of those bullish investors are considered All-Stars, top-rated players who consistently outperform their peers, and they are nearly unanimous in their support of the online gaming provider.

Top-rated All-Star TMFBreakerJava, with a 99.30 player rating, notes that although China stocks have been dealt a setback recently, GigaMedia's various successful and profitable platforms position the company to outperform.

On line gaming in China. Mah Jongg for the newly prosperous of Asia. This Taiwan based company has changed from a sleepy ISP to a cash generating powerhouse. Gaming sites benefit from network effects and GIGM is the place to go for on-line Mah Jongg and other games in China.

With the China sector knocked back some lately, this should be a good entry point to a rapidly growing company with a huge potential market.

My take
Mahjong is simply ingrained in Chinese culture, much like poker, dominoes, and bocce ball are in others. Basketball also happens to be one of the top sports right now in Taiwan, and just in time for the Beijing Olympics, you have GigaMedia set to capitalize on it.

Being based in Taiwan, and focusing on the demands of its Asian audience, has allowed GigaMedia to avoid the fractures that have hurt other poker sites like CryptoLogic (Nasdaq: CRYP) and Optimal Group (Nasdaq: OPMR).

At just 21 times next year's earnings, and with a stock that is 27% off its 52-week high -- it's been trading sideways for the better part of two months now -- I'd wager there are better-than-average odds for GigaMedia to turn in yet another stellar performance this year.

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