December 27, 2012
MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM ) has been a forgotten stock over the past few years, as Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS ) , Melco Crown (NASDAQ: MPEL ) , and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ: WYNN ) charged ahead on strong Macau results. MGM was stuck with a huge debt load and a struggling U.S. economy to deal with.
But the company appears to be on more solid footing on a slow and steady recovery in Las Vegas, and continued improvement in Macau. Investors still need to keep an eye on the company for signs it may be a winner again, which is why I've created a new premium report on the stock with a deep dive into the company's opportunity, risks, and a look at leadership. I've also provided the three things investors must watch, which I've provided in the excerpt below. Find out more about this report by clicking here.
The Three Areas You MUST Watch
To assess whether or not MGM will be able to profit from its immense opportunity, there are three key factors that investors need to keep an eye on:
- U.S. economic growth is the single biggest contributor to profit growth at MGM right now. As I highlighted above, gaming spending is leveraged to the economy and, when the economy is weak, so is MGM. Investors need to watch GDP growth for a general idea of economic direction, but wages may be an even better indicator of the health of consumers. Las Vegas is much more of a mass market than a place like Macau, so broad wage growth will be good for MGM.
- The second area investors need to keep an eye on is China. It's important to watch economic growth, in general, because this will drive profits for VIP gamblers, who generate 70% of gaming revenue. We also need to keep an eye on the growing middle class, because this is what has driven Macau's growth more recently, and will create a stable, long-lasting gaming market in Macau.
- The biggest black eye on MGM in the past decade is the epically poorly-timed CityCenter project. The company spent $8.5 billion on the project it owns 50-50 with Dubai World, and it isn't even close to being a profitable investment. In the third quarter of 2012, CityCenter generated just $59 million in EBITDA and contributed $42.8 million to the company's loss. MGM needs to consistently grow revenue and EBITDA at CityCenter, and investors need to keep a close eye on this progress going forward. To make things even more challenging, CityCenter needs to improve performance while managing the cost of physically imploding its poorly constructed Harmon tower site.