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There has been much conjecture about the stocks of Las Vegas-based gaming companies. The following is a summary of the operating results from the most recent quarter of the largest casino's, their respective valuations, and how they compare to one another.

Most Recent Operating Results of Large Casino Operators
Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS)Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN)MGM International (NYSE:MGM)Caesar's Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR)Boyd Gaming (NYSE:BYD)
Revenues2.58 Billion1.253 Billion2.323 Billion2.165 Billion615 Million
Growth Rate (yr over yr)10.1%-8.3%29%.2%7%
Adjusted EBITDA845 Million384.1 Million501.5 Million512.4 Million113.8 Million
Growth Rate (yr over yr)-6.39%-14.8%+37%-2.6%-3.9%
Net Income240.6 Million138.1 Million-145.5 Million-241.7 Million1 Million
EPS.291.37-.30-1.93.01

(Please note- the MGM net loss was affected by an impairment charge of $85 million on a joint venture, a property transaction charge, and a charge against an allowance for deferred tax assets, along with a net tax benefit in Macau. EPS estimates for normal operations without the charges would be a -.12 per share.)

For investors information, it is probably best to use Adjusted Ebitda as a good measure for operating results as net income is easily affected by special charges, write downs, asset sales, non operating segments, and minority interests, among others.

Valuation Statistics of the Major Gaming Companies
Las Vegas SandsWynn ResortsMGM InternationalCaesar's EntertainmentBoyd Gaming
Market Capitalization34.59 Billion10.36 Billion

4.95 Billion

931.69 Million527.32 Million
Enterprise Value40.91 Billion13.81 Billion16.41 Billion20.29 Billion3.92 Billion
Trailing P/E Ratio24.3520.35N/AN/A56.39
Forward P/E Ratio15.6016.75N/AN/A29.00
EV/EBITDA Ratio12.039.489.0610.608.52
Net Profit Margin15.5311.45-6.83-10.16.39
Operating Margin24.7420.449.7011.2210.75
Shares Outstanding821.11 Million99.78 Million488.94 Million125.31 Million86.59 Million
Free Float350.6 Million63.33 Million333.62 Million24.98 Million54.88 Million
Return On Assets7.21%9.12%1.96%2.20%2.81%
Return On Equity19.38%28.3%-4.11%-70%.07%
Quarterly Dividend Per Share.25.50No DividendNo DividendNo Dividend
Annual Dividend Yield2.4%1.90%No DividendNo DividendNo Dividend

(All Statistics are provided by Yahoo Finance from 8/29/2012. Also, Return on Equity for Wynn Resorts and Caesars Entertainment were calculated using the Dupont Formula, and not taken from Yahoo Finance)

In looking at the valuation of the different companies, I would look at the EV/EVITDA multiple as a key guide. You can see the multiples are fairly rich. If one takes into consideration the top line growth rates of the casino industry, the multiple an investor pays is pretty high relative to how much revenue growth has actually taken place in the last year.

It is important to note that Las Vegas Sands and Wynn generate 75-80% of their operating profits from Asia. Las Vegas Sands has a more diversified revenue base, as it includes both Macao and Singapore, where Wynn only has its operation in Macao. MGM, Caesar's, and Boyd have far more concentration of revenues in Las Vegas.

MGM and Boyd saw top line growth because of a new project and an acquisition, and Las Vegas Sands also had a new project come on line. All of the casinos have growth plans for the future, with Las Vegas Sands, Wynn, and MGM all eyeing Asia and other jurisdictions as a way to increase revenues and operating profits.

Wynn Resorts and Caesar's Entertainment I find interesting because of their lower float totals available to the public. Wynn has a much stronger balance sheet than Caesar's, which has a whopping total of nearly $20 billion of debt. Certainly, if business improves in Las Vegas, Caesar's and the MGM have the most leverage for better operating improvement. The key difference is the very low share count for Caesar's.

Las Vegas Sands has the largest business of all the gaming players, and is the most profitable from an operating performance and size perspective. The main concern for equity owners with the Las Vegas Sands is the large number of shares outstanding, many of which are owned by founder Sheldon Adelson.

The gaming sector is a high profile industry which many investors follow and are interested in. Las Vegas has recently seen a slowdown in activity and it is reflected in the recent results from the industry. I hope the article provides help to investors looking to compare the different possibilities in the industry. With investing, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Finally, a good analogy to the current situation might be the twenty-one equivalent where you are holding a fifteen and the dealer has a "soft" eleven, essentially anything can happen but the odds are in favor of the house. Best of luck with your investments.

Source: Las Vegas Craps Out: Recent Results From Major Gaming Companies