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Is This Gaming Company Tomorrow's Monster Stock?

Rich Duprey
August 13, 2012

Stocks climbing to 10 times their original price are rare breeds -- but they're not impossible to find. Especially when you have Fools for friends. 

The market's best stocks include companies that have risen dozens of times in value by taking advantage of the market's weaknesses. These aren't penny stocks; they're viable companies with sound business prospects that are achieving phenomenal returns. Finding just one or two of these monstrously successful firms can help you establish a winning portfolio.

Stalking the monster
To find tomorrow's winners, we've enlisted the help of more than 180,000 monster trackers at Motley Fool CAPS who have successfully picked stocks that have doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled in price. This week All-Star member sj1987 gives us casino operator Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS  ) as his next monster pick. He made his mark with Rackspace Hosting, which surged 440% after he picked it to outperform the S&P 500, which was up only 12% in the same time frame.

Of course, you shouldn't jump into the breach just because an All-Star stock picker did. Just consider this as a starting point for your own research of extreme buying opportunities.

Las Vegas Sands Snapshot

Market Cap $32.9 billion
Revenues, TTM $10.3 billion
1-Year Stock Return (6.5%)
Return on Investment NA
Dividend/Yield $1.00/2.50%
Recent Price $39.95
CAPS Rating (out of 5) ***

Source: The Motley Fool.

A roll of the dice
The odds certainly seem long that casinos will come up as winning bets. Nevada gambling revenues fell 6% in June while Las Vegas Strip receipts, which account for half of the state's haul, dropped 4.5%. And for those gambling houses like Las Vegas Sands that wagered China's Macau would pay off, it's coming up craps there, too, as June gambling revenues were up an anemic 1.5%, the slowest rate of growth since 2009. Last year the Chinese gambling mecca raked in 42% more than it had in 2010, but Fitch Ratings sees only 10%-12% growth this year, down from a previous estimate of 15%; it's the second time it cut estimates.

According to the Fool's gaming guru Travis Hoium, with Las Vegas Sands owning some of the best properties in the industry it's a better bet for risk-averse investors, though in a head-to-head matchup against Melco Crown Entertainment (Nasdaq: MPEL  ) , Travis thinks greater upside can be had in Melco. But both missed estimates in the second quarter as the slowing Macau market took down everyone.

Momma needs a new pair of shoes!
Wynn Resorts
(Nasdaq: WYNN  ) saw revenue fall 8% in the quarter as competition, particularly on the Cotai peninsula, got more intense, while Caesar's Entertainment (NYSE: CZR