The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Caesars Acquisition, Penn National Gaming, Iao Kun Group Holding, Melco Crown Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands

Zacks

For Immediate Release
 
Chicago, IL – July 08, 2014 – 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 the Caesars Acquisition Co. (CACQ-Free Report), Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN-Free Report), Iao Kun Group Holding Company Ltd. (IKGH-Free Report), Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (MPEL-Free Report) and Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS-Free Report).
 
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Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Gaming Stock Roundup
 
Last week began with the release of Macau gross gaming revenues for the month of June by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. Meanwhile, Caesars Acquisition Co. (CACQ-Free Report) and Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN-Free Report) filed applications to obtain gaming license for their respective projects.
 
Further, Penn National Gaming also announced that Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway will be opened on Aug 28, 2014, subject to final regulatory approval. Additionally, Iao Kun Group Holding Company Ltd. (IKGH-Free Report) announced its Rolling Chip Turnover for the month of June. Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corporation, further amended the time for its cash tender offers.
 
In one other development, Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. is reportedly in advanced talks to sell itself to casino real estate owner Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. (Read last to last week’s developments: Gambling Stock Round up for Jun 30, 2014).
 
Recap of the Week’s Important Stories:
 
1.    According to Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, gross gaming revenue (:GGR) in Macau for the month of June declined 3.7% to $3.4 billion – the first time since Jun 2009. The decline can be attributed to the FIFA World Cup that has diverted some bettors and tourists away from the world’s largest gambling hub. (Read More: Macau June Gambling Revenues Decline as World Cup Diverts Bettors)
 
2.    Caesars Entertainment Operating Company (‘CEOC’) has further amended the time for its cash tender offers to purchase any and all of the outstanding 5.625% Senior Notes due 2015 and 10.0% Second-Priority Senior Secured Notes due 2015 from Jun 27, 2014 to Jul 7, 2014. On Jun 17, the company had extended the time-period from Jun 16, 2014 to Jun 27, 2014.
 
This amendment of cash tender offer comes in the wake of Caesars Entertainment’s comprehensive financing plan to aid independent stock listing and significant de-leveraging of CEOC. (Read More: Caesars Entertainment Soars on Funding Plan).
 
3.    Caesars Growth Partners, a subsidiary of Caesars Acquisition Company, has submitted an application to New York State Gaming Facility to avail a gaming license for an $880 million luxury casino resort in Woodbury , New York . Caesars Acquisition Company and Caesars Entertainment announced the proposed development of Caesars New York, which will be managed and operated by Caesars Entertainment and its affiliates.
 
On the other hand, Penn National Gaming and Cordish Companies have filed an application for a gaming license for Live! Hotel & Casino New York project that will be built in Orange County , N.Y. The company provided an update on this $750.0 million project on Jun 16. (Read More: Gambling Stock Roundup: Isle of Capri, Penn National and Melco Crown Dominated Headlines).
 
4.    Penn National Gaming announced that Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway will be opened on Aug 28, 2014, subject to final regulatory approval. This $250.0 million gaming and entertainment project is located at the juncture of Needmore and Wagner Ford roads in North Dayton .
 
5.    Iao Kun Group Holding Company announced that Rolling Chip Turnover for the month of June at the company’s VIP rooms in Macau was $1.35 billion, up 2% year over year. Win rate for the month was 2.29%.
 
In another development, the board of directors of the company announced that the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has completed an initial three-day review of the Form A1 application and accepted it for detailed inspection. The company had submitted a listing application form (Form A1) to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to apply for the listing of, and permission to deal in, the shares on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by way of introduction on Jun 26, 2014.
 
Performance
 
Share prices of most of the leading casino operators gained over the last week. The highest gain of 4.5% came from Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (MPEL-Free Report), followed by Boyd Gaming Corporation, Caesars Entertainment Corporation and Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS-Free Report). Most of these companies continued to gain since the prior week on the back of prospects of legalization of gambling in Japan , lower restrictions in Macau and an improved top-line at Las Vegas for the month of May. However, shares of Caesars Acquisition declined meager 0.2%.
 
Over the last six months, the major gainers were MGM Resorts and WYNN Resorts with 12.6% and 6.8% price increases, respectively. However, Caesars Entertainment, Melco Crown and Las Vegas Sands Corp. have lost 22.2% and 9.9%, respectively.
 
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