UPDATE: Macquarie Turns Bullish on Macau; Starts Melco Crown Enter. (MPEL) at 'Outperform'
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(Updated - September 8, 2016 11:16 AM EDT)
Macquarie earlier initiated coverage on Melco Crown Enter. (NASDAQ: MPEL) with an Outperform rating. Macquarie also initiated coverage on Wynn Macau (1128 HK), SJM (880 HK), and MGM China (2282 HK) at Outperform. Galaxy (27 HK) and Sands (1928 HK) were initiated at Neutral.
Analyst Zibo Chen said he is bullish on Macau given the Chinese Central Government’s determination to make it a world-class tourism and leisure destination. He also noted strong gaming demand among Chinese but a shortage of supply.
"Several local government policies have resulted in a consensus view that Macau is not receiving support. We disagree. A look at recent Central Government policy initiatives bolsters our view that Beijing will be supportive of Macau in the run-up to the crucial gaming concession decisions in 2020/2022. We expect more favourable policies to come, potentially including further relaxation of visa requirements (despite still limited visibility at the current stage). We believe Macau will resume growth as China’s leisure destination with both gaming and non-gaming drivers," said Chen.
Discussing U.S.-listed Melco Crown, he said, "Although Studio City has underperformed market expectations so far, we are optimistic that the property will gradually ramp up by 4Q17 thanks to (1) the company’s non-gaming franchise; and (2) increased traffic generated by nearby new projects such as the Parisian. We expect Studio City to generate US$226m adjusted EBITDA in FY17E, or c40% above consensus."
Shares of Melco Crown Enter. closed at $14.63 yesterday.
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