Monarch Casino & Resort (MCRI - Get Report) is a small-cap stock that owns and operates Reno, Nevada's Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, a property with 61,000 square feet of casino floor and nearly 1,000 guest rooms. Monarch has been getting quite a bit of investor attention lately -- and not the good kind. Short-sellers have pushed the stock's short ratio to 14.1. At that level, it would take nearly three trading weeks for short-sellers to cover their stakes.
While Monarch has seen tough times lately alongside the rest of the gaming industry, the small company has managed to maintain its profitability as the recession tapers off. And Monarch also boasts one of the strongest returns on assets in the small-cap casino segment. With a manageable debt load and an uptick in consumer travel spending, this stock should be able to shake out its demons and see higher ground in 2010.