What happened 

Shares of Melco Resorts & Entertainment (NASDAQ:MLCO) jumped as much as 11.5% in trading on Wednesday after the Asian casino giant reported second-quarter 2021 financial results. Shares of the entertainment stock closed the day up 10%. 

So what

Revenue was up 222% from a year ago to $566.4 million, and adjusted property earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) improved from negative $156.3 million to positive $79.1 million. Adjusted property EBITDA is a proxy we use for the cash flow coming from a resort because it pulls out the noncash accounting costs from building properties, like depreciation and amortization. So, positive EBITDA at this point in the COVID-19 recovery is good news.

Macao's skyline on a sunny day.

Image source: Getty Images.

Net loss was $185.7 million, or $0.39 per share, and fell short of the $0.31-per-share estimate from analysts. But right now investors are excited that Macao's gambling revenue is coming back, even if it's still less than half of what we saw prior to the pandemic. 

Now what

Today's reaction is likely less about estimates, which are normally very important during earnings season, and more about the trajectory of Melco's business. There's clearly a recovery taking place in Macao and in Melco's other markets in Asia -- a recovery that will be choppy but seems to be on the right track -- and that's the biggest reason this gambling stock is moving higher today. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.