Our favorite idea for 2014 for more speculative investors is a company that operates and manages gaming and entertainment facilities; it is well-placed to benefit from, not only a revival of consumer sentiment in Australia, but the emergence of a middle class in China as well, notes David Dittman, editor of Australian Edge.
Crown's two established casinos—the Crown Melbourne in Victoria and the Crown Perth in Western Australia—have long histories of stable cash generation, with demonstrated resilience during economic downturns. These assets are the company's main cash flow generators, and there is some concentration risk.
This ability to endure global macro volatility is, in part, a reflection of relatively stable and predictable local markets. Stable cash generation also reflects Crown's position as the sole licensed casino operator in the respective regions.
Macau, meanwhile, is the largest gaming market in the world, in terms of revenue, and it continues to grow at a solid clip. Crown's 33.7% stake in Macau-based Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (MPEL) represents a growth opportunity, and future dividend flows from Melco Crown will bring some diversification.
Over 100,000 Mainland Chinese gamble every day in 44 Macau casinos, and the number of visits is growing 10% to 20% per year. China's broadening affluence and improved infrastructure allow people who've never before had, either the money, or the access, go to Macau via high-speed rail links.
Crown's Australian properties also stand to benefit from China's rising prosperity, as 110,100 Chinese visited the Land Down Under in February 2013, more than double the 42,600 who arrived in all of 1995. And China is now the Number One source of tourism revenue for Australia.
Crown Resorts also trades on the US OTC market as an American Depositary Receipt (ADR) under the symbol CWLDY. Crown Resorts' ADR, which is worth two ordinary, ASX-listed shares, is also a buy under USD33.