PC GAMING RIGS MAKING A COMEBACK; ESPORTS AND HIT GAME TITLES DRIVING RESURGENCE

The rise of Esports, higher quality laptops (features include: smaller chips, better cooling systems and battery technology) and hit game titles (i.e. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) are driving a PC gaming rig resurgence. Gaming consoles currently dominate the market; with Sony (SNE) and Nintendo (NTDOY) expected to ship a combined 28 million consoles this year, compared to just 7 million PC gaming units. That gap is expected to close though, as PC gaming rig sales are on pace to grow 6.6% YOY through 2020; despite the gaming industry as a whole expecting a 3.8% annual decline. Console manufactures Sony & Microsoft (MSFT) have begun releasing upgraded versions of their machines to prevent further gamer deflection.

Howie Long-Short: When NTDOY reported their fiscal Q1 (period ending June 30) profits and earnings in July, the company reported profits of $145 million with revenues that had increased 150% YOY (to $1.37 billion). The success of the Switch console (sold 1.97 million in quarter) and mobile games (up 450% YOY to $80 million in revenue), Pokeman Go and Super Mario Run, have driven the stock price up 60% over the last 12 months.

Fan Marino: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, an online multiplayer survival game, has been downloaded more than 10 million times since March and holds the record for most concurrent players on Steam (multi-player gaming platform). The game consists of 100 players that parachute onto an island, scavenge for weapons and equipment, and kill others while avoiding death themselves. The last player standing is the winner.

PC Gaming Is Back in Focus at Tokyo Game Show

EXCLUSIVE: NASCAR’S AUSTIN DILLON DISCUSSES HIS CURRENT HOLDINGS AND BIGGEST TRADE REGRET

The Monster Energy (MNST) NASCAR Cup Series playoffs continued Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch won the ISM Connect 300, advancing in to the round of 12 in the process. JWS got the exclusive opportunity to sit down with Austin Dillon, currently sitting in 13th place, to discuss his corporate sponsorship partners, investment portfolio and a decision to sell (an equity) that he regrets. Austin finished 19th in Sunday’s race after being involved in an 8-car wreck.

How does your passion for sports drive the corporate sponsorship partners you have?

Austin Dillon: I’m a huge outdoorsman, so I started out with Bass Pro Shops (CAB). That was an easy tie-in for me with my hunting and fishing background. From a racing standpoint, I used to be with AdvoCare and their Rehydrate product. I enjoyed using the product. We won a championship with them. I’m now with Dow Chemical Company (DWDP) and their scientists and engineers directly make an impact on our car through technological advances. 

Do you personally invest in your corporate sponsors?

Austin Dillon: Every sponsor that I have, that is traded (CAB, DWDP, GIS), I have stock in. It works well. You can build together. When you are running well, they are doing well. It’s cool how that works.

You mentioned that you do a little bit of trading for fun.  Can you share a few of your holdings?

Austin Dillon: Caterpillar (CAT), I had them as one of our partners for a while; my Grandpa did well on Caterpillar. Builders First Source (BLDR) has been doing well. Nintendo (NTDOY). I was playing Pokeman like crazy when it came out and was like I should get some stock, they’ve been doing well. 

Can you give us one trade you’d like to have back?

Austin Dillon: I messed up on Tesla (TSLA), badly. I had it at $44. One of my engineers was like ‘it’s not going anywhere’ and I sold it (currently at $351). I had around 200 shares.

Howie Long-Short: Dow Chemical Corporation and DuPont Co., the 2 largest American chemical makers, completed a $130 billion merger in late August. As of September 1st, the company began to trade under the symbol DWDP. DWDP is expected to split into 3 separate companies (agriculture, specialty products and materials).

Fan Marino: Austin Dillon played for the South-East team in the 2002 Little League World Series. South East made the 2017 United States Championships and Austin was given opportunity to give the kids a pep-talk before the game. South-East ended up losing a heartbreaker to South-West, 6-5. Nolan Ryan delivered the South-West team’s pregame speech.