Here's Why MGM Shares Are Popping Off Thursday

MGM Resorts International MGM shares are trading higher by 6.42% to $44.09 Thursday morning after the company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter revenues and announced a $2 billion buyback.

What Happened?

MGM reported quarterly losses of $1.53 per share, which missed the analyst consensus estimate of a loss of $1.36. The company also reported quarterly sales of $3.60 billion, which beat the analyst consensus estimate of $3.35 billion by 7.5%. This sales figure is a 17.8% increase over sales of $3.06 billion in the same period last year.

MGM highlighted share buybacks of $2.8 billion in 2022 and $352 million in the fourth quarter. The company announced a new $2 billion share repurchase program authorized by the Board of Directors.

MGM says the company did experience an operating loss of $2 million compared to operating income of $369 million in the prior year quarter due primarily to a $1.2 billion increase in noncash amortization expense relating to the MGM Grand Paradise gaming subconcession and an increase of $338 million of rent expense recorded within general & administrative expense related to the VICI and The Cosmopolitan leases.

MGM says this rent expense commenced in April 2022 and May 2022, respectively, partially offset by a $1.1 billion gain on the disposition of The Mirage in the current quarter.

What Else?

"We achieved our fifth consecutive quarter of record-breaking Las Vegas Strip Resorts Adjusted Property EBITDAR in the fourth quarter," said Bill Hornbuckle, Chief Executive Officer and President of MGM Resorts.

"What we accomplished in 2022 is nothing short of remarkable, and is a testament to our strategic plan, scale, brand strength, talented team, loyalty program, and the diverse geographies and channels in which we operate. We believe that there is strong momentum in our business and our 2023 outlook remains bright, driven by a robust events calendar domestically, MGM China's rapid year-to-date return to profitability and BetMGM's ongoing improvement in 2023," Hornbuckle stated.

Additionally, JMP Securities analyst Jordan Bender maintained MGM with a Market Outperform and raised the price target from $56 to $60.

According to data from Benzinga Pro, MGM has a 52-week high of $49.00 and a 52-week low of $26.41.

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