Wynn Resorts Could Drive Recovery in Macau Stocks, Says Analyst
Posted on: July 14, 2020, 09:16h.
Last updated on: July 14, 2020, 12:49h.
Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) is primed to benefit as Macau’s gaming sector rebounds, particularly given the increased likelihood that the recovery will be hastened by higher-end gamblers, notes an analyst.
Shares of the Wynn Macau and the Wynn Palace operator are trading lower Tuesday. But the stock surged nearly 10 percent on heavy volume Monday on news that Guangdong province is ending its quarantine protocol applicable to travelers arriving from Macau. The Guangdong healthcare seclusion policy ends on Wednesday morning.
In a note to clients today, Union Gaming analyst John DeCree raised his rating on Wynn to “buy” from “hold,” while noting the Encore operator is positioned to lead a recovery in Macau gaming equities.
We expect the initial recovery will be in the premium mass and VIP segments, and anticipate a flight to asset quality for both investors and consumers,” said DeCree. “As we have seen so often in the past, we expect the shares of Wynn Resorts/Macau to lead the initial recovery in the Macau names.”
Wynn is one of the Macau operators more levered to VIP trends, whereas rival Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) is more dependent on the mass and premium mass market demographics.
More Work to Be Done
Guangdong relaxing its travel controls with Macau is undoubtedly a step in the right direction for concessionaires because the province is the largest feeder market for the gaming hub. But there’s still work to be done.
For example, some analysts estimate it will be February 2021 before the gaming center’s visitation numbers show year-over-year growth. That’s because travel restrictions with Hong Kong remain in place and there’s still no sign that Beijing is prepared to lift the freeze on individual visit scheme (IVS) visa issuance.
“While alleviating border restrictions in Guangdong is a solid first step, we’ll look forward to more good news, hopefully later this summer, on reinstating IVS and green health code reciprocity with Hong Kong,” said DeCree.
Recently, plans for a travel bubble between Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau fell apart because of a resurgence of coronavirus cases in Hong Kong. After mainland China, Hong Kong accounts for the next- largest amounts of annual visits to the casino center.
Shares of Wynn more than doubled off the March lows. But the stock is down 9.44 percent over the past month, as market participants fret that a spike in COVID-19 cases in the US will keep gamblers and tourists away from the operators two Las Vegas Venues — Wynn and Encore. The operator’s other US property, Encore Boston Harbor, reopened a few days ago.
However, Macau is by far Wynn’s most important market, generating two-thirds or more of the company’s revenue and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortizations (EBITDA) in any given quarter.
Analysts are mostly bullish on the name, with 13 of the 20 covering the stock rating it the equivalent of “buy” or “strong buy.” The consensus sell-side price target on Wynn is around $94. The stock trades near $80 at this writing.
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