FuboTV (NYSE:FUBO) was supposed to offer investors a streaming sports TV service with a betting upside. However, FUBO stock has totally failed to deliver on that potential. Shares are down from a peak of $50 last year to under $8.50 now.
This is hardly a buy-the-dip opportunity either. Rather, this is a moment of pure desperation as fuboTV’s core business is incinerating cash and time is running out. If fuboTV can’t figure out a way to slow its losses in a hurry, this stock will end up worthless, plain and simple. Here is why FUBO stock is still far too risky to purchase right now.
The Business Is Structurally Unprofitable
Many small tech companies lose money because they haven’t achieved scale yet. In due time, with enough new members or customers, the business can get to a breakeven point and start making money. That is the goal, anyway.
In fuboTV’s case, however, this business, as designed, is simply never going to work out. For 2021’s fourth quarter, fuboTV generated $205 million of subscription revenues. However, it spent $216 million on subscriber-related expenses. Right there, before accounting for any other costs whatsoever, fuboTV lost $11 million simply delivering its core product. You won’t make it long in the business world when you literally sell your product for a loss before accounting for any other overhead.
And trust me, fuboTV has a lot of other costs. There was $48 million spent for marketing last quarter. There was $18 million spent for broadcasting and transmission fees. Additionally, there was $34 million spent for general and administrative costs. And the list goes on.
All told, fuboTV lost more than $110 million in just one quarter alone. That is a gargantuan loss given the relatively modest size of its subscriber base. Simply put, it seems that fuboTV is paying more for content rights for its streaming product than it is earning back from its subscribers. That is a huge structural problem that can’t be easily reversed.
FUBO Stock: Gaming Business Has to Grow
When fuboTV went public, the idea was that that company could offer a betting operation tied to its live sports offering. The thinking was that this would create a fat ancillary profit stream.
And it is coming along, to a degree. The Fubo Sportsbook is indeed live in the states of Iowa and Arizona as of this writing. However, neither of those states are a particularly large or lucrative gaming market. Fubo is seeking regulatory approvals for more states, but so far, it has been relatively slow going. Other metrics, such as the numbers of reviews of its app, remain low. This indicates a lack of widespread adoption as of yet.
If Fubo Sportsbook takes off, it could be a game-changer for the company. The live-synching between watching the game on fuboTV and betting on its sports book seems like a nifty feature that could help differentiate it from the myriad other sports books out there.
Speaking of which, however, it is not clear that the market really values sports gaming operations at high multiples anymore. The leaders, such as DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) and Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN), have seen their share prices collapse in recent months. If those national-scale players are having a rough go of it, it will be doubly-hard for a sports book only operating in Iowa and Arizona to make much of a difference.
FUBO Stock Verdict
If you’re a Fubo shareholder, it is the end of the game. The team is trailing and has one last chance. It needs to heave the ball to the end zone and hope for a miracle.
Basically, Fubo needs to get a sports betting business going yesterday. And it needs to generate a lot of profit. The company’s operating losses are too large and its profit margins are too tiny to keep this firm in the game unless some massive new revenue stream comes online immediately.
And it is unlikely that simply getting more subscribers for the streaming service itself will change the math here. From the company’s anemic margins, it seems like it is making little to no money on the content side of the business. That means that without more gaming revenues, it is unclear what the path forward for fuboTV would be.
On the date of publication, Ian Bezek did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.