Ameristar Casinos (NASDAQ: ASCA) and Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) are both large-cap casinos companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, valuation, profitability, risk and dividends.

Dividends

Las Vegas Sands Corp. pays an annual dividend of $2.92 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.4%. Ameristar Casinos does not pay a dividend. Las Vegas Sands Corp. pays out 110.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Ameristar Casinos has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

38.3% of Las Vegas Sands Corp. shares are owned by institutional investors. 10.1% of Las Vegas Sands Corp. shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility & Risk

Ameristar Casinos has a beta of 1.33, indicating that its share price is 33% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Las Vegas Sands Corp. has a beta of 1.78, indicating that its share price is 78% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Ameristar Casinos and Las Vegas Sands Corp., as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ameristar Casinos 0 0 0 0 N/A
Las Vegas Sands Corp. 0 8 10 0 2.56

Las Vegas Sands Corp. has a consensus target price of $64.62, indicating a potential downside of 1.92%.

Profitability

This table compares Ameristar Casinos and Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ameristar Casinos N/A N/A N/A
Las Vegas Sands Corp. 16.80% 30.84% 10.89%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Ameristar Casinos and Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ameristar Casinos N/A N/A N/A $1.60 N/A
Las Vegas Sands Corp. $11.41 billion 4.57 $1.67 billion $2.65 24.86

Las Vegas Sands Corp. has higher revenue and earnings than Ameristar Casinos. Ameristar Casinos is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Las Vegas Sands Corp., indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Las Vegas Sands Corp. beats Ameristar Casinos on 10 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

Ameristar Casinos Company Profile

Ameristar Casinos, Inc.(Ameristar), is a developer, owner and operator of casino entertainment facilities in local and regional markets. The Company has eight properties in seven markets. Its portfolio of casinos consists of: Ameristar Casino Resort Spa St. Charles (serving the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area); Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City (serving the Kansas City metropolitan area); Ameristar Casino Hotel Council Bluffs (serving Omaha, Nebraska and southwestern Iowa); Ameristar Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk (serving the Denver metropolitan area); Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg (serving Jackson, Mississippi and Monroe, Louisiana); Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago (serving the Chicagoland area); and Cactus Petes Resort Casino and The Horseshu Hotel and Casino in Jackpot, Nevada (serving Idaho and the Pacific Northwest). In August 2013, Pinnacle Entertainment Inc completed the acquisition of Ameristar Casinos, Inc.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. Company Profile

Las Vegas Sands Corp. is a developer of destination properties (integrated resorts) that feature accommodations, gaming, entertainment and retail, convention and exhibition facilities, celebrity chef restaurants and other amenities. The Company owns and operates integrated resorts in Asia and the United States. The Company’s principal operating and developmental activities occur in three geographic areas: Macao, Singapore and the United States. In Macao, the Company’s segments include The Venetian Macao; Sands Cotai Central; The Parisian Macao; Four Seasons Macao; Sands Macao, and Other Asia (comprises the Company’s ferry operations and various other operations). In Singapore, the Company’s segments include Marina Bay Sands. In the United States, the Company’s segments include Las Vegas Operating Properties and Sands Bethlehem. The Company also offers players club loyalty programs at its properties, which provides access to rewards, privileges and members-only events.

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