Wynn Resorts Stabilizes Despite Junk Rating; Vegas and Macau Thrive


The gaming and hospitality giant Wynn Resorts, trading under NASDAQ as WYNN, finds itself in the midst of a narrative of financial resurgence, despite being encumbered by a ‘BB-‘ junk credit rating assigned by Fitch Ratings. This indicator comes with a projection that is designated ‘stable’, suggesting a firm steadiness amidst the tumult of the market.

Anchored by an impeccable collection of properties on the ground such as the Wynn and Encore in Las Vegas, Wynn Resorts boasts a portfolio that resonates with both grandeur and promise. These twin jewels of the desert city, underlined by the continued revitalization in Macau—Wynn’s predominant marketplace—bolster the company’s credit prospects. In particular, the vitality of Las Vegas sector has shown robustness, further reinforcing the balance sheets of the esteemed operator.

Conversely, the company’s credit stature is somewhat tempered by its moderate levels of market diversification, though it stands prominent within two of the world’s most lucrative gaming arenas. Adding to the fiscal mix is the substantial financial reservoir needed to steer current and futuristic capital ventures, an element that could decelerate a rapid trajectory toward a more robust credit standing, as per the insights from Fitch.

The ‘stable’ outlook reflects a confidence that Macau will maintain its resurgence from the pandemic-induced downturn spanning 2020 to 2022, an upswing in the fortunes of Wynn’s Las Vegas operations, and the overall strong liquidity of Wynn Resorts.

Macau remains a linchpin in the fortress of Wynn Resorts’ credit profile. Under usual operational circumstances, the enclave is responsible for orchestrating the lion’s share of the company’s earnings and revenue, placing Wynn in a position of considerable exposure to the economic pulses and geopolitical ripples between China and the United States. Despite these sensitivities, the rebound in Macau’s casino activity has been marked, with room to ascend further to the peak levels of pre-pandemic gross gaming revenue.

Wynn’s establishments within the Macau Special Administrative Region, particularly the Wynn Macau and the Wynn Palace, show remarkable adaptation to an evolving environment that has shifted from VIP-centric operations to one keenly accommodating premium mass market players. Such adaptability is evidenced in the substantial rebound of mass market revenues and profitability margins.

When considering a potential credit upgrade for Wynn Resorts, it must be noted that with a ‘BB-‘ rating, there lies a considerable journey ahead towards the coveted investment-grade echelon. Nonetheless, backing up the outlook of Fitch is a growing optimism pinned on Wynn’s flourishing free cash flow outlook, robust reserves of $2.8 billion, and a strategic retraction from less profitable ventures.

Stateside, Wynn Resorts is bolstered by premier assets, one of which is Encore Boston Harbor. This establishment stands on the verge of augmenting its high regard through plans to add supplementary parking and other amenities commencing this year, fostering a vision expected to materialize conclusively by 2026, further elevating its stature as a prime regional gaming destination in the United States. Regarding shareholder value, Wynn is anticipated to prioritize dividends, with an ancillary strategy of repurchasing shares being only minimally employed.

Wynn’s trajectory of repurchasing stock in 2023 seemingly paves the way for a substantial dividend focus. Minimal speculative repurchases are forecast within the approaching years, further solidifying shareholder confidence in a future ripe with potential.

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