Perhaps it is because trading stocks can often mirror the thrill of winning big at the blackjack tables, or maybe it is because Las Vegas conjures images of the world’s most flashy brands and businessmen. Regardless of the reason, it is clear that gambling stocks are always among the most popular on Wall Street.
Luckily for investors, now is also a great time to be buying gambling stocks, as continued Vegas strength, a great recovery in Macau, and overall international interest in gaming have led to rising share prices. What’s more, the U.S. Supreme Court just overturned a decades-long ban on sports betting, opening the door for many new legal gambling avenues soon.
According to our Zacks Industry Rank data, the overall “Gaming” industry has gained more than 27.6% in the past year, outpacing the S&P 500’s respectable 15.9% gain. With casino stocks this hot right now, investors are not going to want to miss out.
Luckily, we can use Zacks’ proven stock-picking methods to find solid stocks in any industry. Check out these casino stocks today:
1. Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS - Free Report)
With properties like the Venetian and the Parisian, Las Vegas Sands is the epitome of luxury and style in the casino industry. LVS is currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and holds an “B” grade for Growth in our Style Scores system. Our current consensus estimates are calling for EPS growth of nearly 26% on 7% revenue growth in 2018—not bad for an industry leader.
Las Vegas Sands is also generating cash flow growth of 21% right now. The firm is now bringing in about $4.63 in cash per share, more than quadrupling its industry’s average. LVS also boasts a better-than-average net margin of 28% and RoE 36%. Finally, management is currently offering a dividend yield of about 4%.
2. Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd. (MLCO - Free Report)
Melco Crown receives the majority of its revenue from Macau, so the company has benefitted from the continued recovery in the region. Analysts are warming on MLCO, with three positive revisions to its full-year EPS estimates coming in the past month. This has moved the Zacks Consensus Estimate 18 cents higher and earned the stock a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Melco is now expected to witness earnings growth of 45% in 2018. The stock is trading with a slightly-stretched P/E of 23.7, but its PEG of 2.0 implies that investors are still getting a decent price for its growth trajectory. The company’s dividend yield of 1.7% is also worth mentioning, and that could be on the cusp of improving thanks to cash flow growth of 29%.
3. Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN - Free Report)
Penn National Gaming is an operator of a number of casino and gambling properties in North America, specifically located in smaller markets and non-Vegas gambling hotspots. Recently, analysts at Morgan Stanley called the Supreme Court gambling verdict as a “slight positive for regional gaming stocks” and named PENN as one that could benefit the most.
Penn National is also currently holding a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The stock has also been one of the hottest gaming picks on Wall Street recently, surging more than 30% in the past month and nearly 80% in the last year. Still, with new growth catalysts ahead, PENN could very well break higher.
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