Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Are Casino Stocks Worth a Bet?

Last week, when I was in Las Vegas to give a couple of speeches, I noticed how packed the city was. I thought there was a recession on, but the economic downturn seems to be over in Vegas.

According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, during the first three months of the year, visitors to the city were up by 12%. Hotel occupancy went from 71.1% to 82.4%, and there was an amazing 48% increase in the number of conventions.

So maybe, just maybe, there is a turnaround play in the casino stocks. has come up with a list of all the major casino companies, along with their financials. And unfortunately, the financials for many of these stocks don't look good.

For example, Wynn Resorts (WYNN) has a very high trailing price to earnings ratio of 121 and forward PE of 47. But on the positive site, latest revenues were up over 22% and the company pays a yield of 1.2%. Wynn has Wynn Las Vegas casino resort in Las Vegas, and the and Wynn Macau casino resort located in Macau.

The Las Vegas Sands (LVS) which has casinos in Las Vegas, Macau, Singapore, and Pennsylvania, has a forward PE of 32 and a favorable price earnings to growth ratio of 0.59. Revenues were up 23.7% for the latest quarter. The company doesn't pay a dividend.

Another way to bet on the casino industry is through the manufacturers of the slot machines and the other electronic gaming machines, such as WMS Industries Inc. (WMS). The Illinois company, which has been around since 1946, has a trailing PE ratio of 26, a forward PE of 21, and a PEG ratio of 1.11. There is no dividend, but earnings were up 35.2% for the latest quarter on a revenue increase of 9.2%.

For a list of all the top casino stocks, including some that pay dividends of 1.2% and greater, go to

Author does not own any of the above.


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