The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts International, Melco Crown Entertainment, Iao Kun Group Holding and Wells Fargo

CHICAGO, June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Wynn Resorts Ltd. (Nasdaq: WYNN-Free Report), MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM-Free Report), Melco Crown Entertainment Limited (Nasdaq: MPEL-Free Report), Iao Kun Group Holding Company Ltd. (Nasdaq: IKGH-Free Report) and Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC-Free Report).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Gambling Stock Roundup

 

Encouraging news flowed in for casino operators like Wynn Resorts Ltd. (Nasdaq: WYNN-Free Report), MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM-Free Report) and Melco Crown Entertainment Limited (Nasdaq: MPEL-Free Report) last week. The Japanese prime minister stated that casino resorts in the country could contribute substantially to the economy, thus signaling toward legalization of gambling in the country. This would translate into ample opportunities for these operators in one of the largest untapped markets.

In a separate development, analysts upgraded their revenue growth prospects for Macau. Meanwhile, the State of Nevada Gaming Control Board provided an update on gambling revenues for the month of April. Iao Kun Group Holding Company Ltd. (Nasdaq: IKGH-Free Report) posted better-than-expected first-quarter 2014 results. (See last to last week's recap here: Gambling Stocks Roundup for May 27th, 2014).

Recap of the Week's Most Important Stories

1.    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has agreed to the fact that casino resorts in Japan could boost the economy. Analysts believe that the bill to legalize gambling in Japan could be passed in the June legislative session, unlike what was expected previously. (Read more: Gambling Stock Roundup: WYNN Resorts, Las Vegas Sands in Focus).

2.    Despite expectations of a choppy economic environment in 2014, analysts at Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC-Free Report) increased their Macau gambling revenue guidance. They expect May revenues, which are yet to be declared, to be up in the range of 13.0% to 15.0% from the previous expectation range of 10.0% to 14.0%. We note that they had earlier lowered their expectation for Macau due to a potential slowdown in VIP bets owing to decelerating credit growth.

3.    According to the State of Nevada Gaming Control Board, Nevada gambling revenues were down a mere 0.27% to $852.0 million for the month of April. While revenues at The Las Vegas Strip were up 3.19%, they declined 2.55% at Downtown Las Vegas.

4.    Iao Kun Group Holding Company reported solid first quarter 2014 results with earnings and revenue beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Earnings of 29 cents per share, however, declined year over year owing to higher expenses. Revenues of $80.0 million were up 24.0% year over year driven by higher-than-normal win rate of 3.60% as well as revenues derived from the Oriental VIP Room, which the company had acquired in Jun 2013.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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