Wall Street analysts remain optimistic about the sportsbook prospects formed by Penn National and Barstool Sports after the ‘soft-launch’ of the Barstool Sportsbook app appeared to get off to a successful start.

Penn confirmed that it would carry out a live, real money test period for the new sportsbook after gaining approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

The app was launched in Pennsylvania on Friday 17 September, just in time to capture a weekend packed with NBA, NCAA football, NFL, and US Open action – joining the likes of BetRivers, DraftKings and FanDuel, among others.

Data from Sensor Tower has shown that the Barstool Sportsbook app had 63,000 downloads in its first weekend, peaking on Saturday with 23,000 downloads.

“Although data is limited, initial metrics are encouraging, as it was the #1 sports betting and overall sports app in the App Store for much of the weekend,” said Bank of America analyst Shaun Kelley in a note to clients.

“Our initial impressions are positive given the app’s ease of use and leverage of the Barstool brand to create a unique interactive experience. We think the app targets more of a casual bettor than competitors.”

Penn National kicked off this week with a 29% gain on last month, however this has decreased slightly today as investors remain hesitant over another wave of coronavirus cases. However, reported by Casino.com, Kelley remains confident in his bullish approach, predicting shares of $85 – a tie for the highest forecast on Wall Street.

“While the stock has had an amazing run, we still like PENN, given its attractive exposure to sports betting/iGaming and an improving core business,” Kelley said. “Penn’s ability to drive conversion from downloads to deposits and deposits to bets/revenue is the next critical step.”

Analysts suggest that Penn could be well on its way to gain the 23% necessary to get to $85, especially if the app is rolled out across further states in the near future.

“Factor in PENN’s leverage, small size, retail base, momentum, and short interest, and it is easier for us to see additional upside. We raise our PO to about 12x EV/EBITDA on 2022E, which on a sum of the parts, implies approximately 8.5x revenue on sports betting/iGaming,” concluded Kelley.