The stocks the experts are backing for the World Cup

The 2014 World Cup is now only a matter of days away from kicking off. Traditionally, punters have tried to make a few bob from betting on the winner. But if you’d rather pop down to your broker than your bookie, there are plenty of bets to be had on the World Cup via the stock markets.

Pundits from the investment world and the media have been quick to speculate on the winners and losers. And there’s broad agreement among the experts, with sportswear retailers, pubs and bookies featuring heavily, along with broadcaster ITV.

So, here’s a roundup of some of the media’s picks for Brazil 2014. And just to be clear, these aren’t MoneyWeek recommendations – we’re not endorsing them.

The Share Centre

The Share Centre picks five stocks to do well:

ITV (ITV) will be showing the games. And with advertising rates rumoured to be up to £300,000 for 30 seconds’ airtime, it should benefit handsomely.

Sports Direct (SPD) should profit from selling replica England shirts (and Brazil shirts in their Scottish stores).

Domino’s Pizza (DOM) will be taking advantage of the tournament’s late kick-off times, as many viewers will opt to watch from home.

William Hill (WMH) – punters gambled £1bn in the last World Cup; this year should also prove to be a bumper payday for the bookies.

Marston’s (MARS) – pub chains will hope to do well as premises extend their opening hours to cope with late-running matches.

Graphic: Stocks tipped to profit from the World Cup

Evening Standard

The Standard’s Nick Goodway has his tongue firmly in his cheek for some of his selections.

Imperial Tobacco (IMT) should benefit as nervous punters watch penalty shootouts, Goodway reckons.

JD Wetherspoon (JDW) – with TVs now allowed on the premises, the sheer ubiquity of Wetherspoon’s pubs should ensure they take a fair proportion of the public’s money.

Goals Soccer Centres (GOAL) – Goodway is hoping football fever will encourage more people to play five-a-side.

Cineworld (CINE) – a contrarian pick here, as non-football fans flee the living room to watch a film in the safety of the cinema.

Hargreaves Landsown

International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) – owner of Iberia and British Airways – should benefit from transporting fans to South America; while InterContinental Hotels (IHG) will profit from putting them up while they’re there.

Dixons Retail (DXNS) should benefit from selling TVs, while barbecue and food sales will bolster Tesco’s (TSCO) profits; Domino’s Pizza should cater for the non-chefs.

Among pubs, HL picks Mitchells & Butlers (MAB), Punch Taverns (PUB) and JD Wetherspoon; plus brewers Diageo (DGE) and SAB Miller (SAB).

Broadcaster ITV, plus advertising firm WPP (WPP), which should benefit from a “boost to the advertising and PR industry in general”.

Kit retailers Sports Direct and JD Sports (JD) hope to sell plenty of shirts, shorts and other paraphernalia.

And finally, Ladbrokes (LAD) and William Hill should rake in the profits as only bookmakers can.

Shares in focus

Many of these stocks have featured recently in Phil Oakley’s ‘Shares in Focus’ column in MoneyWeek magazine. Here’s what he thought of Marston’s, JD Sports, JD Wetherspoon and Ladbrokes.