As MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM)
stock hits new multi-year highs, many investors are likely wondering whether or not the company is worth betting on at this time. The casino industry was hit hard last year and is slowly getting back on its feet, yet it remains to be seen just how quickly the business will return to pre-pandemic levels. There are also some question marks about MGM China, which could be subject to new operating restrictions enforced by the Chinese government going forward. On the other hand, pent-up demand for Las Vegas travel and moves into online sports betting could be just what MGM Resorts needs to get back on the right side of lady luck.
It’s hard to argue against the recent positive price action for the stock, which could be a sign that buyers are getting more confident in the company’s prospects going forward. MGM Resorts is certainly one of the highest-quality operators of casino resorts on the market, and here are a few reasons why it might be worth adding at this time:
A Las Vegas Empire
MGM Resorts is the largest resort operator on the Las Vegas strip, including iconic properties like the MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, Luxor, New York-New York, and City center. If you are bullish on the prospects of the travel industry and think that pent-up demand will translate to big earnings for companies with exposure to this major tourist destination, it’s hard to find a better option than MGM Resorts given its massive presence in Las Vegas. MGM Resorts just announced that it will acquire the operations of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas from Blackstone for $1.625 billion, which only adds to the company’s portfolio and should result in synergies going forward. Recent deals like this are certainly getting noticed by the street, as Credit Suisse analyst Benjamin Chaiken upgraded shares to outperform this week and doubled his price target.
Such a large presence on the Strip is a big advantage for investors to consider, especially since Las Vegas broke the record for gambling revenue last July and could see more business from conventions going forward. The company reported
Q2 consolidated net revenues of $2.3 billion, up 683% year-over-year, which is a great sign that people are ready to head back to Sin City in droves. Specifically, the company’s Las Vegas Strip Resorts generated $1 billion in net revenues, up 566% year-over-year, and could be evidence that the easing of some of the operational and capacity restrictions from last year along with increasing vaccination rates are going to help Vegas get back to normal faster than you might think.
Online Sports Betting a Huge Growth Opportunity
Another reason why MGM Resorts stock stands out as a potential winner has to do with what the company is doing in online sports betting. BetMGM is one of the fastest-growing online sports betting
and interactive gaming platforms in the country and has plenty of upside as more states are expected to legalize online sports betting. The app is already available in 12 states and MGM anticipates that it will be live in an additional 8 states by the end of the year.
BetMGM is the product of a joint venture with U.K.-based sports betting company Entain and is an area of the business with immense growth potential for investors to consider. Consider the fact that the online sports betting industry is still in its infancy and expected to become a multi-billion-dollar business over the next few years, which means MGM Resorts is well-positioned to take advantage. With sports back in full swing and BetMGM rapidly gaining popularity, it might be time to roll the dice on this stock.
Lower China Exposure a Plus
We mentioned that MGM Resorts
could be subject to some regulatory risk thanks to how the Chinese government is tightening its gambling rules, but this shouldn’t steer investors away from adding shares. While it's true that the company does have exposure to Macau with its 56%-owned MGM Macau casinos, it’s important to note that the company generates about half of its total revenue from its Las Vegas properties.
That means that MGM Resorts does offer investors exposure to the huge growth opportunity in the Macau region, but not as much as many of the other major casino stocks. This is a plus as there is always the possibility that the Chinese government continues to make life difficult for casino operators in the region, and knowing that MGM isn’t so heavily reliant on that area’s revenue makes it best-in-breed among casino stocks at this time.
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