Perhaps it is because trading stocks can often mirror the thrill of winning big at the blackjack tables, or maybe it is because Las Vegas conjures images of the world’s most flashy brands and businessmen. Regardless of the reason, it is clear that gambling stocks are always among the most popular on Wall Street.
Luckily for investors, now is also a great time to be buying gambling stocks, as continued Vegas strength, a great recovery in Macau, and overall international interest in gaming have led to rising share prices. What’s more, the U.S. Supreme Court just overturned a decades-long ban on sports betting, opening the door for many new legal gambling avenues soon.
According to our Zacks Industry Rank data, the overall “Gaming” industry has outpaced the S&P 500 over the past year and on a year-to-date basis. With casino stocks this hot right now, investors are not going to want to miss out.
Luckily, we can use Zacks’ proven stock-picking methods to find solid stocks in any industry. Check out these casino stocks today:
Casino Stocks to Buy Now: Melco Resorts (MLCO)
Melco Crown (NASDAQ:MLCO) receives the majority of its revenue from Macau, so the company has benefitted from the continued recovery in the region. Analysts are warming on MLCO, with three positive revisions to its full-year EPS estimates coming in the past 60 days.
This has moved the Zacks Consensus Estimate 18 cents higher and earned the stock a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Melco is now expected to witness earnings growth of 45% in 2018. The stock is trading with a slightly-stretched P/E of 22.6, but its PEG of 1.9 implies that investors are still getting a decent price for its growth trajectory.
The company’s dividend yield of 1.8% is also worth mentioning, and that could be on the cusp of improving thanks to cash flow growth of 29%.
Casino Stocks to Buy Now: Penn National Gaming (PENN)
Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) is an operator of a number of casino and gambling properties in North America, specifically located in smaller markets and non-Vegas gambling hotspots.
Source: Richard Martin via Flickr
Recently, analysts at Morgan Stanley called the Supreme Court gambling verdict as a “slight positive for regional gaming stocks” and named PENN as one that could benefit the most.
Penn National is also currently holding a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The stock has also been one of the hottest gaming picks on Wall Street recently, surging more than 30% in the past three months and nearly 64% in the last year.
Still, with new growth catalysts ahead, PENN could very well break higher.
Casino Stocks to Buy Now: Las Vegas Sands (LVS)
With properties like the Venetian and the Parisian, Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) is the epitome of luxury and style in the casino industry.
Source: Robert Riley via Flickr
LVS is only sporting a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) right now, but the company has solid growth prospects and feels like a long-term play for a variety of reasons. The stock has an “A” grade for Growth in our Style Scores system, and management looks to be balancing the books well.
Las Vegas Sands is generating cash flow growth of 21% right now. The firm is now bringing in about $4.63 in cash per share, more than quadrupling its industry’s average.
LVS also boasts a better-than-average net margin of 28% and RoE 36%. Finally, management is currently offering a dividend yield of about 4%.
Want more market analysis from this author? Make sure to follow @Ryan_McQueeney on Twitter!
Will You Make a Fortune on the Shift to Electric Cars?
Here’s another stock idea to consider. Much like petroleum 150 years ago, lithium power may soon shake the world, creating millionaires and reshaping geo-politics. Soon electric vehicles (EVs) may be cheaper than gas guzzlers. Some are already reaching 265 miles on a single charge.
With battery prices plummeting and charging stations set to multiply, one company stands out as the #1 stock to buy according to Zacks research.
It’s not the one you think.