Shares of Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) have been on a quick run higher the last two years, more than doubling in value. The driving force has been a recovery in Macau's gaming market, where Wynn opened the $4 billion Wynn Palace last year, but investors have an eye on growth projects as well.
The question for investors is whether or not Wynn Resorts' shares have any room left to run higher. Here's what to watch for in the future.
More growth is ahead
Wynn Macau and Wynn Las Vegas are well-established resorts in their markets and are consistent cash generators with adjusted property EBITDA of $691.4 million and $510.3 million respectively over the past year. They've been the driver of Wynn's stock recently, helped by the revival of Macau's gaming market. But there should be some growth ahead.
Wynn Palace is the latest new resort and is just getting warmed up with $302.3 million of EBITDA over the past year. That's with construction taking place all around the property, including on a light rail system that will bring customers directly from the ferry terminal on Cotai.
Wynn Boston Harbor is the next growth project that's under construction just north of downtown Boston. When completed, the $2.4 billion project will be Wynn Resorts' first property on the East Coast.
On the horizon, two projects could drive continued growth. Wynn Paradise Park is the development of the golf course behind Wynn Las Vegas. Wynn is expected to begin construction late in 2017 or early 2018 and will add new entertainment and convention assets in Las Vegas.
The bigger impact would be if Wynn could win the upcoming bid for a new casino in Japan. Every major gaming company will be going after this project, but with a well-known luxury brand and a meticulous attention to detail Wynn has a good shot at a winning bid.
Reasons to be cautious
There's a lot of potential growth ahead for Wynn, but some risks as well. As Wynn has built out its capacity it has nearly doubled its debt load. That adds risk to the business, something investors should remember from over-leveraged gaming companies filing for bankruptcy during the financial crisis.
The broader risk is that Macau could go through another contraction, which is what crushed gamings stocks in 2014 and 2015. If the government cracks down on gaming or the Chinese economy goes through a recession Macau could feel the brunt of the pain and we've seen that a drop of 50% in gaming revenue isn't out of the question.
Where Wynn's share price goes from here
Wynn Resorts has taken on a lot of debt to build out Wynn Palace and now Wynn Boston Harbor and with only three properties driving the company's revenue right now I would like to see the debt load start to drop long-term. But if Wynn can grow Wynn Palace's EBITDA as the region matures this could be a great long-term stock for investors.
When it comes to gaming companies, Wynn has a history of generating more cash flow than its neighbors and will have up to $2 billion in EBITDA coming into the business in the next year alone. If new projects contribute meaningfully to results the stock could continue its charge higher. I wouldn't expect Wynn Resorts shares to double in the next two years, but I think shares can continue to move higher as growth projects mature. And with a 1.4% dividend yield investors will have some cash to put in their pockets as well.