Wynn Resorts, Limited (WYNN) has been on a helluva run recently. The casino and resort operator saw shares soar 36% in the first quarter, outpacing the meager 1% gains of the S&P 500 by 35 percentage points. That stellar performance made it the fifth-best performer in the entire S&P 500 — in other words, WYNN stock outperformed 99% of the market in Q1.
Of course, over the last full year, the story is a little different. In that period, WYNN stock is off 23%, far worse than the 1% the benchmark index has shed. Wynn, alongside Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) and MGM Resorts International (MGM), has bet heavily on China, which as we know, hasn’t been doing so hot recently.
But yesterday, Wynn turned its focus back to the market that originally made it a powerhouse: Las Vegas. And investors couldn’t get enough of it; shares are up more than 10% as I write this, and are reaching 52-week highs near $99 a share.
“Idyllic” Concept: Good News for WYNN Stock
Ambitious expansion plans Steve Wynn unveiled late Wednesday are sparking today’s rally. Likening the concept to Walt Disney Co (DIS), Wynn laid out plans to build a lake resort and casino in Las Vegas behind two of Wynn’s current casinos.
During the daytime Wynn will offer activities like water-skiing, paddle-boarding and parasailing; nighttime festivities will take a page directly from Disney’s playbook, with a fireworks show illuminating the night.
The working title of the destination is Wynn Paradise Park, and it shows the company’s turnaround plans are serious. Steve Wynn, who has been buying up huge swaths of WYNN stock recently, detailed the plans:
“We have a chance to reinvent Las Vegas and make the whole venue an entertainment attraction … an idyllic beach paradise surrounded by white sand beaches. People come to Las Vegas from all over the world to live large and have a good time and we can dish up an irresistible entertainment attraction.”
Paradise Park will be built on 130 acres that’s currently occupied by the Wynn Golf Club, and will feature a 38-acre lagoon, a 1,000 room hotel and a 120-ft island will sit in the middle of the lake, serving as the launching point for fireworks.
After a far better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings report in February, WYNN stock has rebounded sharply from multi-year lows. Investor confidence is definitely coming back in full swing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw some major shorts unwinding their positions and being forced to buy back in.
The concept still has to be approved by Wynn’s board of directors, but it’s pretty clear that shareholders are in favor of it, so I’d be shocked to see this idea get nixed.
Investors also got more details on how Wynn Palace, the company’s work-in-progress casino in Macau, is going. According to the company, it’ll end up costing $4.1 billion when all is said and done, and may haul in $850 million in earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization by next year. It should be completed in July or August.
All in all, I can see why investors are bullish.
WYNN stock currently has some crazy momentum, and with the CEO putting his money where his mouth is — Steve Wynn has bought over $110 million worth of company stock in recent months — I wouldn’t be surprised to see this cruise to $110 in the next month or so.
As of this writing, John Divine did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can follow him on Twitter at @divinebizkid or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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