Litt’s Land & Buildings Adds Boyd Gaming, MGM Growth Properties to Portfolio

Posted on: May 18, 2021, 07:26h. 

Last updated on: May 18, 2021, 11:20h.

Land & Buildings Investment Management, LLC (L&B) was busy with casino equities in the first quarter, adding new positions in Boyd Gaming (NYSE:BYD) and MGM Growth Properties (NYSE:MGP).

L&B Boyd
Land & Buildings founder Jonathan Litt. His firm took stakes in Boyd Gaming and MGM Growth Properties in the first quarter. (Image: Wall Street Journal)

Jonathan Litt’s firm is considered an activist investor with a knack for focusing on real estate assets. Boyd and MGP are two of four stakes added by the money manager in the first three months of the year, and the only two gaming names among that quartet. L&B liquidated a stake in Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) — one of three names it dropped in the January through March period.

L&B bought 341,787 shares of regional casino operator Boyd in the quarter, valued at $20.15 million at the end of March, according to a Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The activist investor also purchased 344,771 shares of MGP, worth $11.24 million as of March 31.

Boyd is off 7.82 percent over the past month. But there’s an excellent chance L&B is in the green on that position, as the shares are higher today than they were at any point in January, February, and the first half of March.

Some analysts like the operator because it plays on renewed consumer confidence, increasing levels of coronavirus vaccinations, and strength in key demographics, such as those 55-years-old and up and Las Vegas locals.

Future Plans Uncertain for Litt and Boyd

Boyd runs 28 gaming venues across 10 states, including 11 in Nevada. The company owns nearly all of the real estate on which its casinos reside.

It’s not immediately clear if L&B is planning to push Boyd to monetize its property assets. Such a declaration isn’t made in 13F filings. However, that is the type of scenario Litt is well-versed in. He took a stake in MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) in 2015 and pushed the casino giant to the spin-off of MGP. L&B maintains a portion of MGM Resorts.

His plans for the casino real estate investment trust (REIT) aren’t public knowledge at this point, either. Last week, the company bought MGM Springfield from its former parent for $400 million.

By buying MGP shares in the first quarter, not only is Litt’s firm sitting on a noticeable gain, but it was in the stock before the MGM Springfield deal was announced, and that’s a plus because the REIT said the transaction will add to adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) per share.

Gaming REITs and VICI Properties

While L&B added MGP to its roster in the first quarter, it pared its position in another gaming REIT, taking its stake in VICI Properties (NYSE:VICI) to 776,537 shares from around 1.01 million.

Last year, Litt pushed Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. (NASDAQ:GLPI) — the other publicly traded gaming REIT — to merge with VICI. That deal didn’t come to fruition, and L&B ultimately liquidated its position in GLPI.