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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Penn National Gaming, Boyd Gaming, Wynn Resorts and Melco Crown Entertainment

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - February 07, 2017 - 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 Penn National Gaming Inc. (NASDAQ: PENN - Free Report ), Boyd Gaming Corp. (NYSE: BYD - Free Report ), Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN - Free Report ) and Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (NASDAQ: MPEL - 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: PENN, BYD, WYNN, MPEL

Last week was quite eventful for the gambling industry with revenues for January rising marginally in Macau. Though this marked the sixth consecutive month of growth, following the extended slump of over two years, the slow improvement signifies that the recovery might not be that smooth.

On the other hand, the Nevada Gaming Control Board announced a decrease in revenues in the region in December.

In a separate development, Penn National Gaming Inc. (NASDAQ: PENN - Free Report ) posted mixed fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 results. Though earnings compared favorably with Zacks Consensus Estimate, revenues missed the mark.

Recap of the Week's Most Important Stories

1. Gross gaming revenues for January rose 3.1% on a yearly basis to approximately $2.4 billion or 19.3 billion patacas, per the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. This marked the sixth successive month of gains, thereby continuing the revival in Macau.

However, the rise was below the 8% increase recorded in Dec 2016 and the median estimate of an 8.5% gain by Bloomberg analysts. New resorts continue to attract tourists and leisure gamblers, giving a boost to revenues. However, casino operators are bearing the brunt of cannibalization effect with the latest properties drawing in crowds at the expense of existing ones. Moreover, the January figures indicate that the Chinese New Year holidays, which began late last month, will not be as big of a boon as anticipated.

Notably, a tough operating environment in Macao weighed on the stock in 2015 and for the most part of 2016. Notably, the crackdown on corruption in China compelled Macau officials to impose restrictions on high rollers to stop billions of dollars from being siphoned off illegally from mainland China to Macau.

Consequently, this lowered footfall at local casinos. A slowdown in China, tighter visa policies, political unrest and a smoking ban on mass market gaming floors compounded the woes. In fact, the anti-graft corruption drive undertaken by the Chinese government is still keeping VIP gamblers at bay.

Nonetheless, efforts undertaken by Macau operators to revive revenues by wooing tourists and recreational gamblers with family-friendly resorts and more non-gaming facilities have started yielding results as evident from gambling revenue growth in the past six months. Thus, though the worst may be over but the slow progress suggests that Macau's recovery is going to be quite volatile and choppy.

2. According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Nevada gambling revenues dropped 2.7% in Dec 2016 from the year-ago period to nearly $956.1 million. The decline follows the fall in November. More specifically, casino revenues in the Las Vegas Strip - which accounts for more than half of Nevada's total revenue - were down 1.7% year over year in the month. However, Reno recorded a 14.1% rise in casino revenues.

3. Penn National Gaming posted fourth-quarter 2016 earnings of 5 cents, which compared favorably with Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 14 cents. Meanwhile, the figure also improved over the year-ago quarter's loss of 11 cents on the back of higher revenues. Moreover, results were significantly better than management's expectation of a loss of 15 cents.

Net revenue of $742.9 million increased 1.2% year over year due to a rise in revenues at South/West, Midwest and Other segments, partially offset by a decline in the Northeast segment. However, this Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) company missed the consensus mark by a mere 0.07% and also fell slightly short of the management's guidance.

You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

Price Performance

Over the last five trading sessions, share price movement of the major gambling stocks witnessed a mixed trend. While Boyd Gaming Corp. (NYSE: BYD - Free Report ) gained the maximum at 3.5% followed by Caesars Acquisition Company's rise of 0.7%, Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN - Free Report ) and Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (NASDAQ: MPEL - Free Report ) recorded a decline of 5.5% and 3.8%, respectively.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1 Stock 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.

Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

Many are little publicized and fly under the Wall Street radar. They're virtually unknown to the general public. Yet today's 220 Zacks Rank #1 "Strong Buys" were generated by the stock-picking system that has nearly tripled the market from 1988 through 2015. Its average gain has been a stellar +26% per year. See these high-potential stocks free >>.

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Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN): Free Stock Analysis Report

Boyd Gaming Corporation (BYD): Free Stock Analysis Report

Wynn Resorts, Limited (WYNN): Free Stock Analysis Report

Melco Crown Entertainment Limited (MPEL): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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