Sector Roundup: 3 Crashing Casino Stocks

Negative analyst attention is weighing on Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM), and Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on May 26, 2015 at 1:55 PM

Casino stocks are getting hammered on negative brokerage attention today. Among the sector's notable losers are Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM), and Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN). Here's a look at what the analyst community has to say about this trio of names.

LVS saw its price target cut at Sterne Agee CRT (to $57) and Morgan Stanley (to $50) -- echoing the bearish brokerage attention the security received last week, and pressuring the shares 3.6% lower to $50.07. Now, the stock is down 16.4% since its early April high of $59.90.

Despite this troubling technical trajectory, Las Vegas Sands Corp.'s (NYSE:LVS) consensus 12-month price target still stands at $57.44, a nearly 15% premium to current trading levels. What's more, half of the analysts covering the shares consider them a "buy" or better, with the other half doling out a "hold" opinion -- with not a single "sell" to be found. This could pave the way for a round of downgrades and/or additional price-target reductions.

In a similar vein, MGM has dropped 2.6% to trade at $19.98, after Sterne Agee CRT and Morgan Stanley trimmed their respective price targets to $26.50 and $23. Year-over-year, the shares have given back more than one-fifth of their value. This pitiful performance could be in focus this Thursday as the gaming company holds its annual shareholder meeting.

Options traders have been surprisingly bullish toward MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) in recent months. The stock's 50-day call/put volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) is 3.82, with nearly four calls bought to open for every put. What's more, this ratio ranks just 2 percentage points from a 52-week peak. A capitulation among these optimists could send MGM lower.

Finally, WYNN is fresh off a two-year low of $103.75 -- and was last seen 2.1% south of breakeven, at $104.34 -- after Sterne Agee CRT and Morgan Stanley slashed their price targets to $131 and $122, respectively. The stock has fallen precipitously since reaching an all-time best of $249.31 in March 2014, pressured by its 10- and 20-week trendlines. What's more, the shares are on pace to put another disastrous May in the books.

Nevertheless, short-term options traders have displayed an unusually strong affinity toward Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) calls over puts. The equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.92 ranks in the bottom quartile of its annual range. Should these bullish speculators change their tune, it could exacerbate WYNN's technical struggles.

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