Posted on: May 10, 2023, 11:25h.
Last updated on: May 10, 2023, 11:25h.
Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ: WYNN) forecast its upcoming integrated resort in the United Arab Emirates, Wynn Al Marjan Island, can generate up to $600 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).
CEO Craig Billings commented to that effect on a Tuesday conference call with analysts following the release of the operator’s first-quarter financial results.
We think the resort will generate between $450 million and $600 million of steady-state EBITDA. The combination of our 40% equity ownership in the project along with our management and license fees will drive a very healthy return on investment (ROI) for Wynn Resorts shareholders,” said Billings on the call.
The estimated cost of the project, which is expected to be the first gaming venue in the region, is $4 billion with a targeted opening date of early 2027. Wynn’s minority interest in the venture reduces its financial exposure, meaning it’s not on the hook for the entire $4 billion. The property, located on Al-Marjan Island, is being developed with local partners Marjan LLC and RAK Hospitality Holding LLC.
Wynn UAE: More Las Vegas, Less Macau
Likely owing to the fact that casino gaming hasn’t officially been approved in UAE, gaming space will not be the centerpiece of Wynn Al Marjan Island.
It’s estimated the casino there will command just 4% of the property’s 5.6 million square feet. That’s larger than the gaming area at Wynn Las Vegas, but also implies the UAE property will be less gaming-focused than Wynn’s Macau venues or Encore Boston Harbor.
“We think that this business is much more akin to our Las Vegas business than it is, say, Macau or Boston, which are primarily gaming-centric markets,” said Billings in response to a question from Wells Fargo analyst Daniel Politzer. “So we think that this will be a healthy balance of gaming, non-gaming and that that will allow us to provide a very full and high-quality experience and generate very healthy returns.”
Wynn likely doesn’t need gaming to be in the spotlight at the UAE property. Dubai, which is located just an hour away from Al Marjan Island, is one of the most visited parts of the Middle East and the tourists that flock to the emirate embrace high-end dining options, luxury retail and other glitzy amenities — all of which are synonymous with Wynn’s Las Vegas properties.
Wynn Divided Examination, New York Update
Wynn pleasantly surprised investors with the resumption of its quarterly dividend, which had been suspended for nearly three years owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
Billings told analysts that the company is generating solid amounts of cash flow in the US and Macau and that it’s retaining capital for a New York City integrated resort bid “to the extent that, that advances.” He added that the company’s 25 cents per share quarterly payout is a solid starting point, future increases are possible. Stifel analyst Steven Wieczynski observed the dividend resumption is a positive signal to Wynn investors.
“We believe this is an excellent signal to investors that moving forward, their cash flow generation should be overly sufficient to meet and exceed future capital commitments,” he wrote in a note to clients. “While WYNN shares have had a nice move off the bottom, we still believe there is more to come as this has turned into a pure momentum stock. Valuation remains reasonable with shares trading around 9x forward EBITDA, which is a discount to historical multiples.”
He reiterated a “buy” rating on Wynn while lifting his price target to $137 from $127.
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