Macqaurie Says Stay Away from Macau Casino Stocks

July 6, 2012 7:30 AM EDT
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Following some bullishness from Goldman Sachs on Thursday, Macquarie analysts covering the Casino & Gaming sector took a notably opposite stance on Friday. The firm's Gary Pinge and Elaine Lai believe there is "little reason" to buy stocks related to gaming in Macau, citing an accelerating slowdown in gaming win sales and growth expectations which will be hostage to an "uncomfortable adjustment phase" moving forward.

The analysts suggested slowing in the VIP segment of the gambling market will eventually spill out and impact the mass market. Related to this point, rolling chip volume in high-stakes betting last month was down 2 percent from last year, the first year-over-year decline since all the way back to 2008.

Responding to chatter which has been moving Casino & Gaming stocks over the last couple weeks, the Macquarie analysts said they haven't seen a correlation between the tightening of China's reserve requirement ratio and gaming sales in Macau since 2010. Pinge and Lai do not expect such easing to help sales in Macau.

The analyst's shied away from mainstays like Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS), Wynn (Nasdaq: WYNN), MGM (NYSE: MGM), and Melco (Nasdaq: MPEL), and instead told interested investors to take a look at SJM Holdings Ltd. (OTC: SJMHF).

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