Jim Cramer, TheStreet's founder, said late Thursday that Wynn Resorts (WYNN) - Get Report founder and CEO Steve Wynn is "the great casino entrepreneur of our generation" and noted Wynn talked during the company's first-quarter earnings call about the casino Wynn is constructing near Boston, which Cramer said is going to look like a high-quality Las Vegas casino.
Cramer also noted Wynn's criticisms of the regulation of the stock market, which the casino operator argued can be warped by the actions of short sellers and high-frequency traders, saying the stock market is not regulated nearly as stringently as casinos.
Wynn Resorts on Thursday afternoon beat Wall Street's forecasts with its first-quarter results, despite lingering weakness in its Macau operations that have been the focus of investor attention the past several quarters.
Revenue at Wynn's Macau property declined 14% in the period, on a year-over-year basis, to $608 million. That was in line with projections for Macau-based sales, though worse than the overall 9.5% revenue drop for Macau gaming properties reported for the month of April, a figure that actually proved to benefit stocks of gaming companies with Macau exposure, since the decline was not as dramatic as experts had been anticipating.
Shares of Wynn, which closed Thursday at $89.62, down more than 10% from the closing price on April 19, were up 69 cents, or 0.8%, on Friday afternoon to $90.31.
Macau has seen its gaming operations hurt by the government of China's crackdown on junkets to the gaming destination, which has limited excursions by high-rolling casino customers, as well as the government's efforts to curtail the once-rampant corruption and money laundering that accompanied the expansion of gaming in the region.
Wynn, headed by its namesake founder, is acutely exposed to the Macau region, which accounts for 60% of its revenue, because, in addition to its existing property there, it's preparing to open its $4 billion Wynn Palace property in the territory in the third quarter of this year, ahead of a big bulge of new casino sites there.
Wynn, though, topped Wall Street's forecasts on its bottom line, reporting $1.07 a share, versus estimates of 83 cents a share, on an adjusted basis. Revenue of $998 million came in just shy of estimates of just over $1 billion.
Wynn's Las Vegas operations actually showed modest improvement in the quarter, with revenue there ticking up nearly 1%. The rebound in national employment and the uptick in economic conditions, though modest, has benefitted Vegas casino properties, as leisure travel to Sin City has picked back up.
The gaming company also said its board authorized a 50 cent a share dividend for the quarter, marking no change from its previous payout levels.
Meanwhile, in other gaming news, Caesars Entertainment (CZR) - Get Report on Thursday afternoon reported first-quarter results that showed revenue increased by a healthier than expected rate of nearly 7%, reaching $1.17 billion in the period.
Caesars has had an uneven financial performance the past several quarters and operates with a complex balance sheet. The company was bought in 2008 by private equity sponsors Apollo Global Management (APO) - Get Report and TPG Capital Management, as one of the big-ticket leveraged buyouts that preceded the financial crisis but have proved to be a drag on the PE sponsors' own performances.
Caesars' primary operating unit entered bankruptcy protection in January 2015, and it continues to negotiate with creditors.
Shares of Caesars Entertainment's common stock were trading at $6.73 on Friday afternoon.