Casino Stocks Are Spiking Higher On New Macau Revenue Numbers
Macau gaming stocks are popping after this week's release of the March gross gaming revenue (GGR) number for Macau. March marked the 10th consecutive month of year-over-year (Y/Y) declines in GGR for the island, but investors see the latest numbers as a positive.
According to Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, March GGR fell about 39 percent Y/Y to 21.5 billion patacas ($2.7 billion). Recent GGR numbers in Macau are the lowest numbers since 2011, as the government corruption crackdown continues to deter VIP gamblers.
Many analysts have recently lowered their 2015 GGR projections for Macau, and the most recent consensus projections for the year are around 278 billion patacas, a 21 percent year-over-year drop.
Since the March numbers have been released, stocks of all four major U.S.-listed Macau casino stocks have traded higher.
MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM), which is currently involved in a proxy battle in the U.S., has understandably had the most muted reaction to the Macau news.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) and Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ: WYNN) are both up more than 2.0 percent after the news, and shares of Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd (NASDAQ: MPEL) have spiked more than 8.2 percent.
Why The Positive Reaction?
On the surface, a positive market reaction to a nearly 40 percent Y/Y drop in revenue might seem counterintuitive, but much of the positive reaction seems to be the market looking to the future. GGR numbers fell 49 percent Y/Y in February, and the 40 percent drop in March could be a sign that the market is stabilizing.
In addition, March marked the first month of the year that Y/Y comps will begin to get easier for Macau.
Disclosure: the author owns shares of Melco Crown Entertainment.
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