Macau’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to gain momentum, with gross gaming revenues for the first 19 days of March estimated at MOP$6.8 billion (US$842 million), according to channel checks by JP Morgan.
In a Monday note, the investment bank said daily run-rate for the month was currently sitting at MOP$357 million (US$44 million), but that the monthly total implies an increase from MOP$350 million (US$43 million) for the first 12 days of March to MOP$370 million (US$46 million) over the past week.
“This is all within expectations, but still quite encouraging against what’s implied by the recent pull-back in shares,” wrote JP Morgan’s DS Kim and Mufan Shi.
Based on their numbers, month-to-date GGR is running at about 45% of pre-COVID levels with the analysts estimating mass GGR is between 60% and 70%
They also remain confident in the growth potential of Macau gaming stocks, despite a recent dip.
“Notwithstanding recent pullbacks, we remain confident of sizable absolute and relative upside in Macau stocks,” they said.
“Our bull thesis may not be very novel but can still be powerful: the pace of demand recovery continues to ramp, street estimates move higher, skeptical investor sentiment gradually improves and valuation finally mean-reverts to mid-cycle levels (if not re-rates to up-cycles), which in turn produces potential upside of over 50% to our OW ratings on average.
“Put another way, we envision a ‘goldilocks’ rally where the stocks can grind higher quarter after quarter against the wall of worries, as more investors return to invest in this space, following four to five years of lull amidst concerns on license risk, VIP clamp-down, Hong Kong SAR unrest and COVID-19, among others.”