One of the best things I read over this past weekend was yet another piece questioning the valuation of resort hotel and casino operator Wynn Resorts
There are really two questions here. Is Wynn Resorts overvalued? And if it isn't overvalued, how big can investors realistically expect it to grow?
Let's first consider whether Wynn Resorts is overvalued. Wynn Las Vegas will open in April 2005 with 2,716 hotel rooms, an 18-hole golf course, etc. A similar hotel to compare it to is MGM Mirage's
We might also look at Wynn Macau, which will open its 600-room hotel in 2006. A comparable counterpart, Las Vegas Sands' $240 million Sands Macau, opened earlier this year and generated $41.2 million in EBITDA in its first two months alone. As I noted last month (see When a Hit is Not a Hit), both companies stand to earn boatloads with further expansion, as well as with the right to sell sub-concessions to third-party casino operators.
This is hardly scientific, but if we annualize Sands Macau's EBITDA and tack it on to Bellagio's, then Wynn Resorts is trading at an EV/long-term comparable EBITDA multiple of just over 12. That would make Wynn Resorts simply a premium-priced casino operator offering no margin for error, not to mention an expanding share count -- a couple of weeks ago, the company raised $453 million on the sale of 7.5 million shares.
OK, so none of that fazes you? Well then, let's examine question No. 2. If Wynn Resorts isn't overvalued, how big can Wynn really be?
As Barker pointed out, it has taken several years of empire building for Caesars Entertainment
To be fair to Wynn, I'd actually prefer to own a company with a couple of superior assets than an array of mediocre ones. It also means that a couple of other superhits -- perhaps in other exotic locales such as Monaco -- could sufficiently increase Wynn's value. That said, even if you don't believe that Wynn Resorts is overvalued, there's not enough upside here at the moment to make me particularly excited about this stock.
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Fool contributor Jeff Hwang owns none of the companies mentioned above.