Today we downgrade shares of BYD from Outperform to Peer Perform.
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November Vegas Strip GGR reported this morning showed a -3.1% y/y decline versus our estimate of +4% y/y. Hold hurt results by ~150pp relative to our expectation, so the core result was still softer than we expected. All other data was released early this afternoon, which showed Strip RevPAR up 5.7% y/y versus our estimate of +4% y/y. Oct/Nov GGR is down -6.3% y/y and Oct/Nov RevPAR is down -0.3% y/y, implying that December needs to be a very good month for the quarter to be in line with current MGM/CZR Street expectations of ~+2%-+3% revenue growth. Hold helps the December GGR growth rate by 11pp y/y after unusually poor hold in the year-ago period, but December will also need core strength to achieve current estimates, in our view, and the last week of the year is a key period.
Our coverage has had a great 2019, with the stocks in our group up an average of 42% YTD (S&P 500 up 29%), recovering losses from 2018 when our group was down an average of 26%. The stock market seems to be suggesting that we’re shifting back to early cycle and that the U.S. ISM manufacturing PMI is set to increase off the September low of 47.8. The question is how much is already priced into the stocks and can the rally continue in 2020? In this week’s piece we try to answer this question by looking at when our stocks peaked during prior cycles in relation to peak PMI. We also show where current valuations stand relative to the peak valuations in the last couple years for some context of the recent rally.
Our cruise, gaming, and lodging coverage universe has risen sharply in recent months during this risk-on tape. Within our lodging coverage specifically, current stock prices for our Outperform-rated hotel stocks (MAR, HLT, and H) are now above or near our target prices. So, our two options are to either raise target prices or downgrade the stocks. We choose to raise our target prices via higher multiples. We understand the optics of target multiple raises may not look great, but we think it’s the right decision, and in this week’s piece we discuss with several key points and charts.
Last week several states reported November GGR results and November so far has shown a continuation of the strength from October. December will still be a key month, however, as much volume is generated in the last week of the year. In this week’s piece we discuss these trends, and we examine the results including and excluding sports – the direct sports contribution is helping to drive GGR results higher, though the profitability impact is limited.
We see 10 key themes to watch in 2020, and in this note we’ll expand with several charts. The themes include, 1) the U.S. presidential election impact; 2) how market factors will impact our coverage; 3) continued timeshare (VAC) outperformance, led by solid trends and a possible HGV buyout; 4) continued soft RevPAR, but some potential improvement on the horizon; 5) cruise lines looking for a clean year into peak capacity growth to disprove the bear narrative; 6) CCL decoupling and whether they can right the ship; 7) regional gaming strength and a potentially better setup; 8) Vegas Strip revenue performance likely to remain strong and accelerate; 9) more Vegas Strip asset sales; and 10) still soft Macau GGR but likely better y/y performance.
One pushback we hear from cruise line bears is that the industry generates little free cash flow with excessive capex, and therefore the return of capital to shareholders is poor. In this week’s piece we’ll discuss that pushback with several charts.
In this week’s piece we discuss a few topics, including 1) October regional gaming trends, which have been strong; 2) cheap hotel rates we observed at Encore Boston Harbor, which ties into reports of on-going promotional activity in other areas; 3) some thoughts on recent cruise line price action; and 4) more thoughts on MGM given the likely upcoming reduction to its MGP stake disclosed last week.
Our coverage wrapped up 3Q earnings season last week, and later this week we plan to host a webcast discussing key themes, top ideas, and catalysts coming out of earnings (more details to come). For now, in this week’s piece we provide a summary of earnings, including consensus estimate changes post reports, stock reactions, and our view on each stock and whether we are more constructive or less constructive coming out of earnings.
About half of our coverage has now reported earnings, and in this week’s piece we discuss some read-throughs for those set to report this week. Specifically, we’ll discuss five points: 1) our group is generally responding well to reports that haven’t been great; 2) read-throughs to NCLH from RCL’s report; 3) read-throughs to VAC from HGV and WYND reports; 4) we back into implied Vegas results for CZR and WYNN now that we have industry data and competitor reports, and it appears CZR had a strong quarter in Vegas; and 5) we back into implied Macau results for WYNN and Galaxy now that we have industry data and competitor reports.
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