Melco Crown Entertainment (MPEL) Stock Climbing Amid Jump in Casino Sector

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Melco Crown Entertainment (MPEL) are rising by 6.70% to $20.02 in mid-afternoon trading on Thursday, as some stocks in the resort and casino sector take off today amid speculation from Credit Suisse that the Macau gaming hub in China may see an improvement soon, Barron's reports.

In May, revenue in Macau, the only region in China where gambling is legal, fell by 37%. The district continued to struggle with the Chinese government's anticorruption crackdown in the area, which began a year ago.

However, after taking a closer look at Macau's May numbers Credit Suisse noticed "some green shoots," Barron's added.

In May VIP gaming grew by 3% from April, VIP rolling gained by 7%, and mass gaming spiked by 9%.

"We highlighted in our earlier piece that Macau was hurt by the slower visitation in Hong Kong. We believe the impact is gradually fading. In fact, recent data shows that the Chinese visitation also improved 7.2% year-over-year during 1-24 May in Hong Kong," Credit Suisse said in an analyst note, according to Barron's.

"As the mainland Chinese visitation trend between Hong Kong and Macau has strong correlation, we believe a better trend in Hong Kong should bode well for Macau," the note continued.

Melco Crown Entertainment is a Hong Kong-based developer, owner and operator of casino and resort facilities primarily in Asia.

So far today, 6.65 million shares of Melco Crown Entertainment have exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.59 million shares.

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