Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Las Vegas Sands (LVS) to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Las Vegas Sands have declined over the past year and are unlikely to recover in the near term following the company’s lower-than-expected results in third-quarter 2018. Earnings also declined year over year. High debt and intense competition are primary causes of concern. Nonetheless, the company’s planned investment in new capital projects in Macao and higher revenues from The Parisian Macao are likely to drive growth. Further, EBITDA margins have been improving consistently due to focus on the mass and non-gaming segments, which carry higher margins. Furthermore, Las Vegas Sands remains focused on a convention-based Integrated Resort business model. Notably, this model helps in generating the most diversified set of cash flows and profit from non-gaming segments besides bringing unsurpassed economic and diversification benefits to the regions in which it operates.”

Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Stifel Nicolaus cut their target price on shares of Las Vegas Sands from $88.00 to $86.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, July 26th. HSBC raised shares of Las Vegas Sands from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $69.00 target price for the company in a research report on Monday, October 15th. Morgan Stanley set a $68.00 target price on shares of Las Vegas Sands and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, October 25th. Goldman Sachs Group lowered shares of Las Vegas Sands from a conviction-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, October 19th. Finally, Argus cut their target price on shares of Las Vegas Sands from $89.00 to $70.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Friday, October 26th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $73.50.

Shares of LVS stock traded down $1.15 on Monday, hitting $55.91. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 281,123 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,633,427. The company has a current ratio of 1.93, a quick ratio of 1.68 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.52. Las Vegas Sands has a fifty-two week low of $49.28 and a fifty-two week high of $81.45. The firm has a market cap of $39.88 billion, a PE ratio of 18.43 and a beta of 1.55.

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 24th. The casino operator reported $0.77 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.81 by ($0.04). Las Vegas Sands had a net margin of 27.71% and a return on equity of 34.18%. The business had revenue of $3.37 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.41 billion. As a group, analysts forecast that Las Vegas Sands will post 3.4 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 27th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.75 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 17th. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.37%. Las Vegas Sands’s payout ratio is 98.68%.

In other news, EVP Lawrence A. Jacobs sold 66,667 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.95, for a total transaction of $4,063,353.65. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 66,667 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,063,353.65. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 10.20% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of LVS. Marathon Asset Management LLP bought a new position in shares of Las Vegas Sands during the 3rd quarter worth about $404,981,000. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Las Vegas Sands by 20.5% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 19,856,347 shares of the casino operator’s stock worth $1,516,232,000 after purchasing an additional 3,371,432 shares during the period. Schroder Investment Management Group increased its holdings in shares of Las Vegas Sands by 58.4% during the 2nd quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 3,132,036 shares of the casino operator’s stock worth $236,844,000 after purchasing an additional 1,154,672 shares during the period. Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. increased its stake in Las Vegas Sands by 83.7% in the second quarter. Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. now owns 1,786,691 shares of the casino operator’s stock valued at $136,432,000 after acquiring an additional 813,987 shares during the period. Finally, Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. increased its stake in Las Vegas Sands by 741.4% in the second quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 584,126 shares of the casino operator’s stock valued at $44,604,000 after acquiring an additional 514,700 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 38.50% of the company’s stock.

Las Vegas Sands Company Profile

Las Vegas Sands Corp., together with its subsidiaries, develops, owns, and operates integrated resorts in Asia and the United States. It owns and operates The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel, the Sands Cotai Central, The Parisian Macao, The Plaza Macao and Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Cotai Strip, and the Sands Macao in Macao, the People's Republic of China; and iconic Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

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