WYNN

With Macau Business Picking Up Pace, Will Wynn Stock Recover To Pre-Inflation Shock Highs Of $140?

Wynn stock (NASDAQ:WYNN) currently trades at $84 per share, roughly 40% below its pre-inflation shock high of $140 seen on March 17, 2021. The stock has been impacted by the Macau operations, which saw business largely collapse over 2021 and 2022, due to stringent Covid-19 restrictions which hurt tourist inflows into the region. Now things have recovered strongly in Macau in recent quarters. With China easing Covid-19 restrictions, overall visitors to Macau reached about 8.3 million over Q3 2023, compared to just about 5 million in Q1. However, Wynn’s recovery in Macau has been a bit more mixed compared to other players.  One of its two properties in the region, the Wynn Macau, has seen a weaker recovery, although Wynn Palace is faring better. Overall, it appears that the company might be losing some market share in the Macau market post the recovery. That said, the stock was trading at a low of about $57 in June 2022 and has jumped about 47% from these levels to almost $84 due to improvements in Macau and strength in the company’s Las Vegas operations.

Looking over a slightly longer period, WYNN stock has faced a notable decline of 25% from levels of $115 in early January 2021 to around $85 now, vs. an increase of about 25% for the S&P 500 over this roughly 3-year period. However, the decrease in WYNN stock has been far from consistent. Returns for the stock were -25% in 2021, -3% in 2022, and 2% in 2023 (YTD). In comparison, returns for the S&P 500 have been 27% in 2021, -19% in 2022, and 20% in 2023 (YTD) – indicating that WYNN underperformed the S&P in 2021 and 2023.

In fact, consistently beating the S&P 500 – in good times and bad – has been difficult over recent years for individual stocks; for heavyweights in the Consumer Discretionary sector including AMZN, TSLA, and HD, and even for the megacap stars GOOG, MSFT, and AAPL. In contrast, the Trefis High Quality (HQ) Portfolio, with a collection of 30 stocks, has outperformed the S&P 500 each year over the same period. Why is that? As a group, HQ Portfolio stocks provided better returns with less risk versus the benchmark index; less of a roller-coaster ride as evident in HQ Portfolio performance metrics. Given the current uncertain macroeconomic environment with high oil prices and elevated interest rates, could WYNN face a similar situation as it did in 2021 and 2023 and underperform the S&P over the next 12 months – or will it see a recovery?

Returning to the pre-inflation shock level means that Wynn stock will have to gain about 66% if the stock recovers from $84 currently to its pre-shock highs of $140 per share. While the stock may recover to those levels, we presently estimate Wynn’s valuation to be around $109 per share, about 30% ahead of the current market price. While we believe that Wynn could see gains, we think that the upside for the company in the near term could be limited by concerns about the global economy and a potential slowdown in consumer spending. Our detailed analysis of Wynn upside post-inflation shock captures trends in the company’s stock during the turbulent market conditions seen over 2022. It compares these trends to the stock’s performance during the 2008 recession.

2022 Inflation Shock

Timeline of Inflation Shock So Far:

  • 2020 – early 2021: An increase in money supply to cushion the impact of lockdowns led to high demand for goods; producers were unable to match up.
  • Early 2021: Shipping snarls and worker shortages from the coronavirus pandemic continue to hurt the supply
  • April 2021: Inflation rates cross 4% and increase rapidly
  • Early 2022: Energy and food prices spike due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Fed begins its rate hike process
  • June 2022: Inflation levels peak at 9% – the highest level in 40 years. S&P 500 index declines more than 20% from peak levels.
  • July – September 2022: Fed hikes interest rates aggressively – resulting in an initial recovery in the S&P 500 followed by another sharp decline
  • October 2022: Fed continues rate hike process; improving market sentiments help S&P500 recoup some of its losses.
  • Since August 2023: the Fed has kept interest rates unchanged to quell fears of a recession, although another rate hike remains in the cards.

In contrast, here’s how WYNN stock and the broader market performed during the 2007/2008 crisis.

Timeline of 2007-08 Crisis

  • 10/1/2007: Approximate pre-crisis peak in S&P 500 index
  • 9/1/2008 – 10/1/2008: Accelerated market decline corresponding to Lehman bankruptcy filing (9/15/08)
  • 3/1/2009: Approximate bottoming out of S&P 500 index
  • 12/31/2009: Initial recovery to levels before accelerated decline (around 9/1/2008)

Wynn Stock and S&P 500 Performance During 2007-08 Crisis

WYNN stock declined from nearly $164 in October 2007 to $21 in March 2009 (as the markets bottomed out), implying that the stock lost over 85% of its value through the drawdown. However, the stock rebounded strongly to over $58 by early 2010, an increase of about 178%. The S&P 500 Index saw a decline of 51%, falling from levels of 1,540 in September 2007 to 757 in March 2009. It then rallied 48% between March 2009 and January 2010 to reach 1,124.

Wynn Fundamentals Over Recent Years

Wynn’s revenues declined from around $6.6 billion in 2019 to about $2.10 billion in 2020 as the spread of COVID-19 impacted gaming and hospitality-related revenues. The number recovered to $3.8 billion in 2021 and stood at $3.75 billion in 2022, as a recovery in the U.S. was partly offset by weakness in Macau. While the company posted a profit of over $300 million in 2019, it has remained loss-making over the last three years, as the pandemic weighed on its business. Net losses stood at about $700 million in 2022. However, the company is on track to post a profit in 2023. 

Conclusion

With the Fed’s efforts to tame runaway inflation rates helping market sentiment, Wynn (WYNN) stock has the potential for gains once fears of a potential recession are allayed.

 Returns Dec 2023
MTD [1]
2023
YTD [1]
2017-23
Total [2]
 WYNN Return 0% 2% -3%
 S&P 500 Return 1% 20% 106%
 Trefis Reinforced Value Portfolio 1% 30% 565%

[1] Month-to-date and year-to-date as of 12/11/2023
[2] Cumulative total returns since the end of 2016

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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.

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