MGM Cotai to Generate $220 Million in 2018, Analysts Predict

Posted on: May 14, 2017, 02:00h. 

Last updated on: May 14, 2017, 05:36h.

MGM Cotai is scheduled to open in the last quarter in 2017, and after it does, Fitch Ratings believes the $3.3 billion resort will drive strong profits for the Nevada-based casino conglomerate.

MGM Cotai Macau Fitch Ratings
Labeled as Macau’s “jewelry box,” MGM Cotai is expected to produce plenty of financial gems when it opens in late 2017. (Image: GGRAsia)

MGM Resorts is investing heavily around the world, and that includes its Chinese arm, which is playing an integral role. Located on the Cotai Strip, Macau’s version of Las Vegas Boulevard, the new property will offer 1,400 hotel rooms, a luxury spa, high-end retail shops, and 500,000 square feet of gaming space.

When the massive complex welcomes guests next fall, market analysts believe the investment will immediately begin delivering a strong return to MGM shareholders.

Fitch Ratings, one of the “Big Three” credit rating agencies in the world, says in a note released this week that MGM Cotai should produce $220 million in earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). With that new income, MGM China Holdings should expect an EBITDA of about $700 million in 2018, according to the research.

While the new MGM casino will be one of the larger ones in the city, the resort itself, by Macau’s standards, is actually rather tame. For instance, MGM Cotai’s adjacent neighbor, Wynn Palace, cost $4.2 billion and has more than 1,700 rooms. The Parisian, Las Vegas Sands’ newest property on the Cotai Strip, opened last fall with 3,000 rooms.

MGM Optimism

Still relatively fresh off a global recession, MGM is bullish on the casino industry.

Led by CEO Jim Murren, the global hospitality and entertainment company recently opened its $1.4 billion National Harbor resort outside of Washington, DC, and is in the process of constructing a $950 million venue in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The expanding casino giant also recently bought out Boyd Gaming’s 50 percent stake in the Borgata in Atlantic City for $900 million.

So far, the spending spree has paid off, with investors liking what they’re seeing. Traded on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of MGM Resorts have gone from less than $23 a year ago, to more than $30 this week.

But casino stocks remain a risky endeavor according to many economic advisors. Fitch’s credit rating for MGM China is “BB,” which is below investment grade. However, the agency sees optimism on the horizon.

“Fitch has a positive view on MGM’s development pipeline, which consists of MGM National Harbor, MGM Cotai, and MGM Springfield,” the note explained. “Once complete MGM will have two assets in Macau and three assets along the US East Coast. Fitch generally expects good return on investment for the three development projects.”

Mass Market Catering

Though VIP revenue is on the rebound in Macau, resorts are changing their focus to a wider demographic of visitor. That’s true at MGM Cotai, which is investing heavily in non-gaming attractions.

For many, that starts with food and beverage. Inside MGM’s newest property, guests will find a culinary adventure from four celebrated chefs — Mauro Colagreco, Mitsuharu Tsumura, Graham Elliott, and Janice Wong.

“MGM Cotai is being developed to drive greater product diversification and bring more advanced and innovative forms of entertainment to Macau,” said MGM China CEO Grant Bowie.

In addition to its spa and shopping, MGM says the Cotai property will also have Asia’s “first dynamic theater” that will “wow every guest who steps foot in the resort.” The MGM lion statue will also be made entirely out of 24K gold.