The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Whole Foods Market, Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts International and Melco Crown Entertainment

Nov 07, 2013, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, Nov. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFM-Free Report), Wynn Resorts Limited (Nasdaq: WYNN-Free Report), Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS-Free Report), MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM-Free Report), and Melco Crown Entertainment Limited (Nasdaq: MPEL-Free Report).


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

Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Whole Foods Beats Earnings, Misses Revs


Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFM-Free Report) reported fiscal Q4 2013 earnings after the bell Wednesday, and results were mixed: the 32 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 31 cents, but revenues came in lighter than the expected $3037 million to $3.0 billion. Guidance was also lower than expected.


Not surprisingly, Whole Foods shares are down in after-market trading -- in fact, they're sinking like a stone, down 8% after a somewhat positive +1.22% in regular-day trading today. Not even a dividend increase of 2 cents per share (up to 12 cents) is apparently enough to keep the evening bears at bay.


Total sales were up 11% from a year ago on a comparative-week basis (Q4 2012 had an extra week in it). In the press release, Whole Foods called it their "best fiscal year performance in our company's 35-year history." No love for historical landmarks among after-market traders, apparently. Tough crowd. 


Guidance was also lower for Q1 2014, and that may be a legit reason for investors to be a tad spooked. Whole Foods had seen some upwardly revised earnings estimates for this year and next in recent weeks; we'll certainly keep an eye on if/when and perhaps how much revisions may be cast downward from here. Ahead of the earnings report, Whole Foods had a Zacks #2 Rank and a long-term Neutral recommendation.


Even still, Whole Foods seems to be jumping through hoops just fine, if a tad slower than some people may have expected. New stores continue to open, more revenues continue to flow in, positive earnings surprises keep happening (albeit modestly) and acquisitions such as Wild Oats are already beginning to contribute to the company. More people are looking for healthy food options, and if the economy ever picks up, a lot more will be willing and able to shop at Whole Foods.

But until then, investors will simply have to take their (holistic) medicine and like it -- at least until WFM's stock price gains can start getting healthy again.

Wynn Resorts Hikes Dividend

Casino-resort operator Wynn Resorts Limited (Nasdaq: WYNN-Free Report) recently announced its decision to hike its quarterly dividend by 25.0% to $1.25 per share next year. This brings the forward annual dividend yield, as of Nov 5, 2013, to 3.03%. The announcement for the current hike comes after about a year.

In addition to this hike, Wynn also decided to distribute a special dividend of $3.00 per share, payable on Dec 6, 2013, to stockholders of record as of Nov 20, 2013. Wynn has a history of repaying shareholders handsomely by means of regular and special dividend payment.

Prior to this, at the end of 2012, the company rewarded its shareholders with a hefty special dividend of $7.50 per share. Wynn also paid special dividends in addition to regular payments in 2010 and 2011.

At the end of the third quarter of 2013, cash and investments balance was $2.7 billion and total debt outstanding was $6.2 billion.

We appreciate WYNN Resorts' efforts to consistently enhance long-term shareholder value even in times of an economic downturn. We believe that the additional dividend affirms Wynn Resorts' positive outlook and reflects confidence in its fundamentals.

Wynn Resorts currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some companies from the casino gaming sector that are worth a look at the current level include Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS-Free Report), MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM-Free Report), and Melco Crown Entertainment Limited (Nasdaq: MPEL-Free Report). While Melco Crown holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) Las Vegas Sands and MGM Resorts carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today.

About Zacks is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978. The later formation of the Zacks Rank, a proprietary stock picking system; continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros.  In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros.


Get the full Report on WFM - FREE

Get the full Report on WYNN - FREE

Get the full Report on LVS - FREE

Get the full Report on MGM - FREE

Get the full Report on MPEL - FREE

Follow us on Twitter:

Join us on Facebook:

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.


Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339


Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.



SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.