Despite recovering handily from the lows of 2015 and early 2016, shares of Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN) remain only about half of their peak value from back in 2014. Many analysts have taken away their negative ratings over the past few months, but now Wynn has a new street-high analyst target from an independent research firm.
Argus Research has raised its rating on Wynn Resorts to Buy from Hold, and its price target is $135. With Wynn shares having closed at $116.74 on Tuesday, the shares have risen above the current Thomson Reuters consensus analyst target of $109.18. What should stand out here is that the highest sell-side research target price was $134, so Argus is now the highest official street-high analyst target.
As a reminder, the Thomson Reuters research universe is made up of sell-side research analysts rather than independent research and buy-side research.
Despite stiff competition, results at the Wynn Palace in Macau, which opened in August 2016, have shown consistent improvement, with occupancy and room rates both rising in the fourth quarter. Additionally, gross gaming revenue in Macau has increased over the past eight months, reversing a prior decline.
As a result of the VIP market in Macau improving more quickly than anticipated, Argus raised its 2017 earnings estimate to $4.30 per share from $4.20. For 2018, the firm increased its estimate to $5.00 from $4.80.
Argus detailed in its report:
We expect this recovery to continue over the remainder of 2017, helped by new cruises to Macau for VIP customers and marketing efforts targeted at other visitors. We also look for Wynn to benefit from strong tourist demand and a heavy convention schedule in Las Vegas. We expect these positive trends in both Macau and Las Vegas to result in accelerated earnings growth for Wynn over the next two years. Our long-term rating also remains Buy.
Shares of Wynn were last seen up 0.7% at $117.59 on Wednesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $109.18 and a 52-week trading range of $82.51 to $119.80.