With half of 2012 in the record books, it's important to take a look at whether the stocks that interest you can live up to their full potential. By making sure you know about a company's future plans and possible challenges, you can make a better decision about whether it's a smart investment for your portfolio.

Today, let's take a look at Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS). As we saw in our look at Las Vegas Sands last month, the casino operator has been a pioneer in opening new markets in Asia, but the threat of a slowdown there has made some investors step away from the stock. Are they being shortsighted and missing out on the longer-term opportunity? Let's take a quick look at Las Vegas Sands' prospects for the rest of the year and beyond.

Stats on Las Vegas Sands

Average Stock Price Target $58.63
2012 EPS Estimate $2.67
2013 EPS Estimate $3.08
Fiscal 2012 Sales Growth Estimate 24.8%
Fiscal 2013 Sales Growth Estimate 13.4%
CAPS Rating (out of 5) ***

Source: Yahoo Finance.

Will you win with Las Vegas Sands?
It's certainly reasonable for investors to think that a slowdown in the Chinese economy could have an impact on the gaming industry there. With Las Vegas Sands, Melco Crown Entertainment (Nasdaq: MPEL), and Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq: WYNN) having increasingly relied on Asia for their primary growth, anything that affects operations there poses a threat.

But much of the concern about an Asian slowdown seems overdone, at least as it applies to Sands. In the conference call following Wynn's second-quarter report, CEO Steve Wynn said that the Macau market has gotten more competitive, but noted that the new hotels in the area came from Las Vegas Sands. That should give Sands a bigger share of Macau revenue, and even if that revenue doesn't grow as quickly as it did in the past, Sands should still benefit for years to come.

Moreover, geographical diversification gives Sands an advantage over its peers. Just as MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM) has been hamstrung by domestic exposure that left it vulnerable to the plunge in Vegas-based business, Sands doesn't want to bet everything on Macau's sustainability. Between its existing Singapore property, the proposed EuroVegas project, and possibilities for expansion in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Taiwan, the casino operator is taking steps to protect itself against anything but a worldwide recession.

All in all, there's plenty of reason to think that the retreat in Las Vegas Sands' stock price is just a temporary blip. It may not be a sure thing, but the odds definitely seem to be in favor of Sands being a winning bet for the rest of 2012 and beyond.

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