Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: MGM Resorts, Las Vegas Sands and International Game Tech

 Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: MGM Resorts, Las Vegas Sands and
                           International Game Tech

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, May 14, 2013

CHICAGO, May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Today, Zacks Investment Ideas feature
highlights Features: MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM), Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) and
International Game Tech (NYSE:IGT).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Double-Down on These Gaming Stocks

The economy seems to be getting stronger and stronger. Unemployment is on its
way down. The stock market (S&P 500) is making all-time highs, so is it time
to take a gamble?

I'm not talking about any gamble, I want a calculated gamble. One that will
pay off because times are getting better and that means there is likely to be
more disposable cash on hand. Where do people go (and lose or) spend
disposable cash? VEGAS!

Let's take a look at 3 stocks that have high Zacks Ranks and could be worth a
gamble.

MGM Resorts

MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM) has been on a nice run over the last month or so. The
stock has jumped from about $12 and is now looking to test the $16 range and
that move may be the start of even better things to come.

A big reason for the move was the most recent earnings report. The company
reported its first profit in more than 7 quarters, and did so with the Zacks
Consensus Estimate calling for a loss of $0.10 per share in the quarter. By
reporting $0.03 MGM delivered a 130% positive earnings surprise.

This swing into the black has inspired analysts to move earnings estimates for
the casino operator significantly higher. Only six months ago, analysts were
calling for a loss of $0.50 for 2013. Estimates have moved up since then, but
really jolt higher from a loss of $0.27 to a loss of $0.06 following the most
recent quarterly report.

Similarly the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 moved from a loss of $0.024 in
November 2012 to the current level of a gain of $0.10. Just one month ago, the
consensus was look for a loss of $0.09 in 2014, so the prospects look that
much better.

MGM is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Las Vegas Sands

Sticking with the idea of top-ranked casino and gambling stocks, I have Las
Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) up next. While MGM just kicked into profitability, LVS
has been there for some time.

The big idea is that LVS just reported its first positive earnings surprise in
a year. On May 1, the company reported $0.71 when the Zacks Consensus was
calling for $0.66. That five cent beat translates into a 7.6% positive
earnings surprise. Prior to that report, the company had a string of three
straight misses.

The better than expected sent analysts back to their models looking increase
revenue and earnings estimates. Positive earnings estimates revisions really
aren't that new to LVS, and since November of 2012 the Zacks Consensus
Estimate has been ticking higher every other month. Starting at $2.61 in
November, the consensus edged higher to $2.70 at the end of April. With the
recent beat, the estimate now stands at $2.79.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 also ticked higher over the same time
horizon. Starting at $3.03 in November 2012, the less populated number has
since ballooned to $3.20. The implied earnings growth rate stands at 14.7%,
and for a stocks the size of LVS ($48 billion) that is no small achievement.

LVS is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

International Game Tech

The final gamble I am looking at is International Game Tech (NYSE:IGT) this is
more of a supply chain provider to the casino's but it still fits in the
overall scheme of a gambler's stock pick.

IGT has seen three straight positive earnings surprises, and has beat the
number in four of the last five quarters. That is a goof think, but when we
see the size of the last there beats in percentage terms have been 18.8%,
16.7% and 20% respectively, we have to get excited. Those are solid beats of
size by a company that is followed by 13-17 analysts depending on the quarter.

Those beats haven't turned into that much in the way of estimate revisions.
Starting in November 2012, the Zacks Consensus Estimate called for $1.23 and
since moved higher to $1.31. Nearly the same move for 2014 estimates which
moved from $1.28 to $1.33. Despite the solid history of beating the number the
analysts are not letting 2014 estimates grow.

My limited experience with Casino's tells me that a big portion of the money
made comes from the slots, and as a maker of the slots, IGT will always have a
place in the gamblers stock picks. The thing to look for is a consistent
replacement rate on the slots, and that will be an indication that the company
could be set to see higher revenues.

Gamble? Not with the Zacks Rank

Just because this stocks are related to the gaming / gambling, one should not
think that they are a roll of the dice. These stocks all have high Zacks
Ranks, which looks for increasing earnings estimates.

The idea of a stronger economy, more disposable cash and well performing
casino stocks is good for the prospects of the overall market. If casino's are
doing well, then there is confirmation of a number of other businesses doing
well.

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