Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of gaming company Empire Resorts (NASDAQ: NYNY ) jumped as much 10% in early trading today before dropping to a loss and ending the day over breakeven.
So what: The crazy moves came after Empire announced it had submitted a proposal to the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board for a casino in Sullivan County. The proposed project would cost over $1 billion, with $630 million coming from Empire and its partners.
This creates an incredible growth opportunity, but it will also require new capital. Management also announced a $478 million senior secured credit facility from Credit Suisse that is subject to getting the gaming license, as well as up to $150 million in new equity. Kien Huat Realty III, Empire's largest shareholder, has already committed to buying a proportionate share of the offering if new stock is sold.
Now what: New York is looking to expand its gaming offerings; Empire and Caesars Entertainment both announced project proposals there, so it'll be a competitive market. The news of Caesars' bid or the dilution that came with Empire's bid may have scared away investors from the early pop today, which is understandable. In a highly competitive market, I don't think Empire is in a good position with or without the new casino, so I'd be a seller today. It'll take years to see whether Empire wins the bid and can build a profitable resort, which is easier said than done in the Northeast.
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