Shares of Wynn Resorts have surged since the company released its quarterly earnings report after the market closed on Thursday, jumping more than 8% to above $103 in midday trading on Friday. The reason for the exuberance: Growing signs that Wynn’s potentially risky gamble on a new casino in Asia is paying off.
Investors have been spurred on by Wynn’s $1.3 billion in revenue, which beat analysts’ expectations. A large chunk of that revenue came from its new Wynn Palace in Macau, a semi-autonomous region of China. The $4 billion casino and resort opened just a few weeks before the most recent quarter began, and initially got off to a slow start, sending the company’s stock down 14% to a low of $85 in early November. But business soon began picking up, with the facility bringing in $418.7 million in revenue for the quarter. The Wynn Palace now brings in $1.6 million in operating income a day, according to CEO Steve Wynn.
The jump in stock price continues a hot streak for shareholders of Wynn Resorts (WYNN). The stock rose 25% in 2016, and is up nearly 20% this year. The momentum carried over Thursday and Friday despite weak earnings figures, which came in at only $0.50 a share, significantly lower than the $0.85 that was expected, according to Thomson Reuters.
While business at the Wynn Palace has been good, with the company reporting a 90% occupancy rate, the news out of China isn’t all rosy. Revenue from Wynn’s regional flagship property, the Wynn Macau, was down more than 10%, stoking fears that the Wynn Palace may be cannibalizing the company’s business in the area. Still, everything’s relative: Months ago, Wynn said that a 20% to 25% cannibalization rate was possible, so the most recent numbers offered investors some relief.
Though there are no immediate plans for a new resort in China, the company has said given the economic prosperity many people are starting to attain there, it will be building more there in future. Fears that a Chinese crackdown on corruption might hurt casinos in Asia depressed Wynn’s stock in 2015, but those fears seem to have dissipated.