Ameristar Casinos (NASDAQ: ASCA) and Monarch Casino & Resort (NASDAQ:MCRI) are both small-cap cyclical consumer goods & services companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, analyst recommendations, dividends, profitability, valuation and earnings.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

58.3% of Monarch Casino & Resort shares are held by institutional investors. 27.6% of Monarch Casino & Resort shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Ameristar Casinos and Monarch Casino & Resort, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ameristar Casinos 0 0 0 0 N/A
Monarch Casino & Resort 0 1 3 0 2.75

Monarch Casino & Resort has a consensus target price of $56.00, suggesting a potential upside of 21.13%.

Volatility and Risk

Ameristar Casinos has a beta of 1.33, indicating that its stock price is 33% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Monarch Casino & Resort has a beta of 1.09, indicating that its stock price is 9% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Ameristar Casinos and Monarch Casino & Resort’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ameristar Casinos N/A N/A N/A $1.60 N/A
Monarch Casino & Resort $217.03 million 3.77 $24.57 million $1.52 30.41

Monarch Casino & Resort has higher revenue and earnings than Ameristar Casinos. Ameristar Casinos is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Monarch Casino & Resort, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Ameristar Casinos and Monarch Casino & Resort’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
Monarch Casino & Resort 11.99% 11.25% 9.03%

Summary

Monarch Casino & Resort beats Ameristar Casinos on 7 of the 9 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ameristar Casinos

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.

About Monarch Casino & Resort

Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc. (Monarch), through its subsidiary, owns and operates the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa (the Atlantis), a hotel/casino facility in Reno, Nevada. The Company also owns and operates Monarch Casino Black Hawk. The Company’s segments include Atlantis and Monarch Casino Black Hawk. The Atlantis is located approximately three miles south of downtown in the area of Reno, Nevada. As of December 31, 2016, the Atlantis featured approximately 61,000 square feet of casino space; 824 guest rooms and suites; eight food outlets; two espresso and pastry bars; a 30,000 square foot health spa and salon with an enclosed year-round pool; two retail outlets offering clothing and traditional gift shop merchandise; an 8,000 square-foot family entertainment center, and approximately 52,000 square feet of banquet, convention and meeting room space.

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