Macau casino revenue slumps to 18-month low but Citi sees value stock picks

Night skyline of Macau viewed from the water

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Macau gross gaming revenue fell 56% in March to 3.67B patacas ($455M) to slightly trail the consensus estimate for a 55% decrease. Ongoing COVID restrictions and concerns held back traffic during the month.

Gross gaming revenue was down 54% in March from the level seen in February with the lockdowns in Zhuhai and Shenzhen a major factor. The monthly tally was also the lowest in 18 months. Macau GGR was down 24.8% for Q1 on a year-over-year basis.

Citi pushed back its timeline for a lifting of travel restrictions on China and Hong Kong to Q4 from mid-2022, but thinks positive catalysts like the passing of gaming law amendments and the licensing process will support share price gains this year. Within the sector, Citi upgraded Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) to a Buy rating from Hold and maintained a Buy rating on Melco Resorts & Entertainment (NASDAQ:MLCO). Meanwhile, Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) is called the Global Top Pick in the casino sector. MGM Resorts (MGM) also is rated at Buy due to its strong positioning in the U.S. The thinking is that on post-pandemic assessment, the Macau heavyweights are value plays.

Macau casino stocks: Wynn Macau (OTCPK:WYNMF), Sands China (OTCPK:SCHYY), MGM China (OTCPK:MCHVF), Galaxy Entertainment (OTCPK:GXYEF), SJM Holdings (OTCPK:SJMHF), Macau Legend Development Limited (OTCPK:MALDF) and Studio City International (MSC).

In premarket action, Las Vegas Sands (LVS) gained 2.01%, Melco Resorts & Entertainment (MLCO) rose 4.45% and Wynn Resorts (WYNN) added 2.90%.

See Seeking Alpha Quant Ratings across the casino sector.

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