It's a beautiful day for casino stocks

Celina Lin PokerStars MacauCourtesy of Kenneth Lim PhotographyChina’s ‘queen of poker’ Celina Lin plays in Macau.

It’s a beautiful day for casino stocks, and that’s because of…you guessed it: Macau.

The global gambling hub may finally be finding a bottom after almost 2 years of collapsing gaming revenue due to a Chinese government crackdown on corruption and travel to the territory from mainland China.

“Macau gaming revenues fell 0.1% yr/yr vs. our estimate of around -2%,” wrote Wells Fargo analyst Cameron McKnight in a note Tuesday.

“Assuming February revenues were not inflated by the luck factor, we expect March revenue growth of -4% to -8% yr/yr. We remain neutral on the group. With stocks up 8% so far this year (vs. S&P -5%) and the group trading at 12.5x 2016E EBITDA, we believe stabilisation is already discounted.”

And so as a result, stocks that were once feeling the burn are having a banner day.

Here’s the rundown:

  • Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. is up almost 7%.
  • Melco Crown Entertainment, the company controlled by Australian billionaire James Packer and Lawrence Ho, the son of Macau scion Stanley Ho, is up 6%.
  • Steve Wynn is having the most lacklustre day, with his stock up only 4%.

The market may be punishing Wynn because of uncertainty regarding his new casino coming onto the Macau market around June. Part of the gambling business’ transition over the last year has been from an industry dependent on high rollers to one that leans more on mass market entertainment. Analysts are still unsure how much supply of that nature Macau can handle.

And with China in the midst of an economic slowdown, it’s hard to say when Macau will return to its former glory.

Today seems pretty good though.

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