Posted on: February 26, 2021, 11:27h.
Last updated on: February 26, 2021, 11:53h.
Shares of Caesars Entertainment are up significantly today to close out the week following the company’s better-than-expected earnings report.
Caesars reported fourth-quarter revenue of $1.5 billion, up 153 percent from the company’s 2019 Q4. The surge was due to Caesars merging with Eldorado Resorts in July of 2020, and bringing in new properties to its portfolio.
Fourth-quarter earnings resulted in a net loss of $1.91 per share. After factoring in one-time cost adjustments, Caesars says losses were $1.70 per share.
The Q4 results surpassed Wall Street expectations, which forecast losses of $1.77 per share. As a result of the better-than-expected report, Caesars shares on the Nasdaq were up more than eight percent in afternoon trading on Friday.
Las Vegas ‘Flipped a Switch’
Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg expressed plenty of optimism during the company’s investor call. The casino exec said hotel bookings in Las Vegas are at their highest levels since the Strip was allowed to reopen last June.
It’s almost like a switch was flipped sometime in late January or early February. Our bookings are up 20 percent on a month-over-month basis,” Reeg revealed.
The Caesars’ boss said the booking window has been extended. Reeg explained that much of the firm’s 2020 bookings were for impulse trips. He says now about half of the bookings are for trips that are at least 30 days out.
Reeg also disclosed that last weekend, a non-holiday with no noteworthy events, Caesars experienced a 95 percent occupancy rate at its Las Vegas resorts.
“The demand that is coming as the world reopens … is wildly underestimated by the markets,” Reeg stated.
Investors seemingly agree with Reeg’s opinion. Caesars stock has skyrocketed since last fall. Shares have soared from $45 in late October, to higher than $90 this week — a 100 percent increase.
Caesars Not a Seller
Several properties on the Las Vegas Strip have exchanged hands over the past couple of years. And there have been plenty of recent rumblings around town regarding Caesars considering selling Planet Hollywood.
Reeg says that while the company is looking to reduce its exposure in Las Vegas, nothing is currently being actively shopped.
There are no assets for sale in Las Vegas in our portfolio,” Reeg explained.
Gaming Industry Bulls
Caesars isn’t the only casino stock that has seen its shares blossom over the past few months. With the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccination increasing, plenty of investors are bullish on gaming’s rebound.
The VanEck Vectors Gaming ETF currently consists of 40 holdings, including casino operators, sports betting firms, and casino real estate investment trusts. Las Vegas Sands accounts for the fund’s largest percentage of net assets at 7.46 percent.
Other large positions include Galaxy Entertainment, DraftKings, and MGM Resorts.
Shares of the ETF have jumped from $37 at the end of October, to higher than $53 this week — a more than 43 percent gain.