MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) stock is getting a boost today after Credit Suisse named the largest operator on the Las Vegas one of its top four reopening trade ideas for 2022.
In a note to clients today, analyst Benjamin Chaiken reiterates an “outperform” rating on the casino giant while lifting his price target on the stock to $74 from $68. That’s well above the Wall Street consensus of $55.07 and implies upside of 72 percent from the Jan. 5 close.
The bank is also bullish on International Game Technology (NYSE:IGT), Hilton Grand Vacations (NYSE:HGV) and SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE:SEAS).
As we look to 2022, we want to highlight our four best ideas: MGM, HGV, IGT and SEAS. These are our highest conviction ideas, and stocks that we think had momentum prior to the sell-off and thus should have adoption as the market recovers,” says Chaiken.
The analyst’s call on the Bellagio operator could be well-timed for investors because after a strong December, MGM stock started 2022 on a rough note, shedding 4.1 percent prior to today. The shares are 13.39 percent below the 52-week high.
Reasons for Optimism with MGM Stock
Credit Suisse’s call on MGM arrives amid nascent though budding positivity on the gaming equity in the early stages of 2022.
For example, earlier this week JPMorgan analyst waxed bullish on Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IAC) — the company that owns a 12 percent equity stake in MGM. Without identifying exactly what, those analysts speculate IAC has something interesting store for MGM this year. It’s not confirmed as of yet, but it could well revolve around BetMGM iGaming and online sportsbook unit.
For his part, Chaiken sees reasons to be constructive on the Mandalay Bay operator, citing factors such as an asset-lite operating model, a compelling capital structure, strong showings at the company’s Las Vegas venues and improving sentiment.
“We think that overall sentiment in recent weeks has soured, but for our best ideas we don’t think company-specific drivers have changed,” said the analyst of the four aforementioned reopening ideas.
Some analysts believe the recent slide in global gaming equities hastened by the emergence of the omicron variant of the coronavirus is creating compelling opportunities to get involved with casino stocks.
Chaiken’s commentary on MGM also arrives on the same day the company formally unveiled its new customer loyalty program — MGM Rewards.
“All members can now earn MGM Rewards Points when they play, stay or dine at all domestic MGM Resorts destinations on directly booked rooms and food & beverage, as well as slots and now, table games,” according to a statement issued by the company.
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