Shorts Pile on Ahead of Dave & Buster's Earnings

Dave & Buster's is due to report earnings on Dec. 7

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Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAY) is an American company that owns and operates venues that combine entertainment and dining in North America. Each Dave & Buster's location includes a full-service restaurant and a variety of entertainment attractions centered around playing games. At last glance, PLAY is trading up 6.4% at $32.09.

On Nov. 29, Dave & Buster's Entertainment announced that it will report its third-quarter results on Tuesday, Dec. 7, after the market closes. PLAY’s senior management team will also hold a conference call to discuss the results that same day. At this time, Wall Street analysts anticipate that Dave & Buster's Entertainment will report earnings of $0.15 in the upcoming earnings report.

Dave & Buster's stock has increased about 23.7% in price year-over-year and PLAY is up 33% since sharply bottoming at a 52-week low of $23.96 last December. On the flip side, shares of PLAY are up 6% year-to-date and Dave & Buster's stock has decreased 37% in value after soaring to its nearly two-year high of $51.73 in March -- proximal to the Center for Disease Control's relaxed guidelines regarding COVID-19 restrictions.

Short sellers have been piling on, accounting for nearly 15% of the stock's total available float. At the equity's average pace of trading, it would take these shorts a full week to buy back their bearish bets.

However, Dave & Buster's stock comes with significant risks due to its weak underlying fundamentals. PLAY currently has $1.84 billion in total debt and just $108 million in cash on its balance sheet. Nonetheless, at a price-sales ratio of 1.85, PLAY could be a high-reward investment for investors willing to take on the high risk in the short-term.

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