4. Wynn Resorts ( WYNN)

Company profile: Wynn, with a market value of $13 billion, is an operator of luxury casinos and resorts, including: Wynn Macau and Encore in China, and Wynn Las Vegas and Encore on the Las Vegas Strip. Its first-quarter earnings are due April 25.

Dividend Yield: 1.5%

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 17.7% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 66%. Analysts give its shares seven "buy" ratings, eight "buy/holds," and 10 "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. Analysts estimate it will earn $5.88 per share this year (after earning $1.39 per share last year) and $6.92 next year, which is 18% growth. S&P has it rated "buy," with a $131 price target, a 4% premium to the current price.

Morningstar says it "stands to benefit from an imbalance in demand and supply in the Chinese gambling market, with industry revenue projected to grow 12%-15% annually over the next five years and supply expected to grow only 5% per year, which will drive (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) and free cash flow higher, without significant investment."

3. Melco Crown Entertainment ( MPEL)

Company profile: Melco, with a market value of $2.5 billion, engages in the development, ownership, and operation of casino gaming and entertainment resort facilities in Macau.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 59% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 50%. Analysts give its shares nine "buy" ratings, seven "buy/holds," and three "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. Morningstar analyst Chad Mollman says it's the only U.S.-listed company focused exclusively on the Chinese casino industry. "We think Melco is well-positioned to grow even faster than the overall market."

2. MGM Resorts International ( MGM)

Company profile: MGM, with a market value of $7 billion, is the largest gaming and hotel company on the Las Vegas Strip, with 30% of all guest rooms in the market. Its properties include: Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, Luxor, New York-New York, and a 50% ownership stake in CityCenter.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 32% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 30%. Analysts give its shares 13 "buy" ratings, six "buy/holds," and 10 "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P.

Analysts expect it to lose 47 cents per share this year. S&P, which has its shares rated "hold," says: "We see continued momentum in Vegas against a backdrop of less than 0.5% room supply growth, but believe (its) shares already incorporate improvement."

1. Las Vegas Sands ( LVS)

Company profile: Las Vegas Sands, with a market value of $45 billion, operates casinos in Las Vegas, Bethlehem, Pa., and Singapore and Macau, China.

Dividend Yield: 1.65%

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 37% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 127%. Analysts give its shares 15 "buy" ratings, 10 "buy/holds," and three "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. S&P, which has it rated "buy," says that "with an estimated 57% of its revenue to be derived from Macau properties in 2012, coupled with opening of the first phase of Sands Cotai Central in April, we view (the company) as well-positioned in Macau. We also expect news about the potential legalization of gaming in new jurisdictions to boost the group."
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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