Casino Stocks Hit the Jackpot

Overseas developments are boosting Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:MPEL), and Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jul 1, 2015 at 10:48 AM

Casino stocks are on fire for the second day in a row, following news that Macau gaming revenue fell less than expected in June, and that the country relaxed visa requirements for visitors from mainland China. Among the names capitalizing on these developments are Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:MPEL), and Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN). Let's take a closer look at the these stocks, from a technical and sentiment perspective.

LVS is up 3% at $54.12, but remains a long-term dud. Since hitting a multi-year high of $88.28 in March 2014, the shares have plummeted 39%, pressured by their 100-day moving average -- which, at $54.38, has contained this morning's advance. Nevertheless, options traders have shown increased optimism toward Las Vegas Corp., buying to open 1.81 calls for every put during the last two weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio is higher than 88% of comparable readings from the previous 12 months.

MPEL has rallied an even more impressive 8.1% to $21.21, but remains 16.5% lower year-to-date. As with LVS, the stock's 100-day trendline has contained today's gains, sitting just above Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd's intraday peak of $21.49. On the sentiment front, analysts are tilted in a decisively bearish direction, with 70% rating the equity a "hold" or worse.

Finally, WYNN has jumped 5.5% to trade at $103.08, trimming its year-to-date decline to 30%. Currently, the shares are attempting to hurdle their 50-day moving average, which has acted as resistance since April 2014. Short sellers are likely hoping Wynn Resorts, Limited will get rejected and resume it long-term downtrend. In fact, short interest spiked 18% during the latest reporting period, and now accounts for more than one-tenth of the stock's total float. Elsewhere, analysts continue to be skeptical of WYNN, with two-thirds maintaining tepid "hold" assessments.

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