NEW YORK ( TheStreet) --Despite widespread consolidation in the U.S. gaming industry there are still 11 U.S.-based, U.S.- listed gambling stocks with market capitalizations of more than $1 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The U.S. gaming industry has been challenged in 2013 as a many new gambling venues have opened and consumers have proven reluctant to spend on gambling, according to a Dec. 22 report from research firm Creditsights. Nonetheless, Casino stocks have had an impressive run in 2013 with seven of the 11 names generating returns of more than 70%.
Here are the five gaming stocks analysts like best for 2014, according to Bloomberg data.
5. MGM Resorts (MGM)
Seventeen analysts rate MGM a "buy," versus 10 "hold" ratings and a single "sell" rating, good for a rating of 4.11 out of 5, according to Bloomberg's scoring system. MGM has lost $2.75 a share over the past 12 months and has a market cap of $11.31 billion.
Sixteen analysts rate Wynn a buy compared to 12 who rate in a hold, garnering Wynn a 4.11 rating-equal to MGM according to Bloomberg's point system. Wynn trades at 29.6 times trailing 12 month earnings and has a market cap of $19.14 billion
3. Churchill Downs (CHDN)
Six analysts rate Churchill Downs a "buy," while three rate it "hold" -- good for a Bloomberg rating of 4.33. The Kentucky Derby host, which has several other racing and casino properties, trades at 25.5 times trailing 12 month earnings and has a $1.61 billion market cap.
2. Bally Technologies (BYI)
Bally, the Las Vegas-based maker of slot machines and other devices, is rated a "buy" by 11 analysts, while just 4 rate it a "hold," adding up to 4.47 out of 5 in Bloomberg's scoring system. Bally trades at 20.8 times trailing earnings and has a market cap of $3.03 billion.
Twenty four analysts urge investors to buy shares of giant resort operator Las Vegas Sands, while just three rate it a "hold" and only one has a "sell" rating on the stock. That adds up to a Bloomberg score of 4.61. Las Vegas Sands trades for 29.00 times earnings and its market cap of nearly $64 billion is more than triple that of its closest publicly-traded rival.