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MGM China Is The Most Efficient Macau Operator

MGM China Is The Most Efficient Macau Operator

In a new report, Morgan Stanley analyst Praveen Choudhary takes a close look at which Macau casino operators are running the most efficient businesses. According to Choudhary, staff is the larest fixed cost for U.S.-listed Macau casino operators Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS), Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ: MPEL), MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) and Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ: WYNN).

In fact, staff costs account for up to 70 percent of operating expenses for these four names.

“Thus, efficient management of staff cost could be a source of differentiation as far as margin and ROIC is concerned,” Choudhary explains.

Related Link: Macau Gaming Revenue Nearly Flat In February

Choudhary looked at a metric called employee efficiency, which is EBITDA divided by the total number of employees. He found that MGM has the highest efficiency of all the operators, followed by Sands, Wynn and Melco Crown.

Historically, Wynn had led the group in employee efficiency. However, the downturn in gaming revenue in Macau in the past two years has meant that Wynn’s high-paid staff has been unable to pull its weight like is has in the past.

Outperform-rated Melco Crown Entertainment is Morgan Stanley’s top Macau stock pick. The firm has an Equal-Weight rating on the China unit of Las Vegas Sands and Underweight ratings on the China units of Wynn and MGM.

Disclosure: the author is long Melco Crown and Wynn.

Latest Ratings for MPEL

Feb 2017Morgan StanleyUpgradesEqual-WeightOverweight
Jan 2017NomuraUpgradesReduceNeutral
Jan 2017Bank of AmericaUpgradesNeutralBuy

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