Casinos to see earnings rebound on borders reopening

KUALA LUMPUR: Kenanga Research is bullish on gaming counters, especially casino operators, as borders re-open with the vaccine rollout in 2021.

It said Genting and Genting Malaysia have seen their casinos experiencing pent-up demand from their re-opening in 3QFY20 after the MCO-affected quarter of 2QFY20.

"3QFY20 results for GENTING and GENM came as positive surprises where both key casino GENS’ Resort World Sentosa and GENM’s Resort World Genting registered impressive profitable earnings attributed to pent-up volume despite operating at lower capacity.

"The strong business volumes were also experienced in GENM’s UK and North America casinos with reduced losses at EBITDA level in 3QFY20," said Kenanga.

Going forward, with vaccines at the roll-out stage and with borders expected to re-open soon, the casino operators are expected to benefit especially Genting Singapore which is highly reliant on overseas patrons, which will benefit parent Genting.

In 4Q20, results are expected to be weak especially for Genting Malaysia as the CMCO was reinstated in the country except in three states in early November.

The re-imposition of lockdown in the UK and resurgence of new cases in North America will pressure Genting Malaysia's earnings further.

However, earnings downside risk for Genting will be mitigated by Genting Singapore, which is expected to lead earnings recovery within the group.

Kenanga has an "outperform" on Genting with a target price of RM5.70 and a "market perform" on Genting Malaysia with a target price of RM2.60.

Meanwhile, Kenanga expects numbers forecast operators' ticket sales to revert to pre-MCO level in the first half of 2021.

"NFO share prices have been fairly stable post the market melt-down in mid-March 2020 as their business volume recovery was faster than the casino operator given that their outlets are well spread throughout the country whereas there is only one casino in Genting Highlands.

"So far, the ticket sales trend is fairly ncouraging, recovering to 80-85% of pre-MCO levels currently," it said.
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