MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) COO Corey Sanders unloaded 60,000 shares of the casino giant’s stock on Monday in a transaction valued at $2.4 million.
The gaming executive sold the shares at an average price of $40, according to a Form 4 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Sanders’ sale of his employers equity came as the casino stock closed slightly below $40 on Jan. 23. Today, it finished at $40.28, marking its first closing print above $40 since last May.
The chief operating officer still directly owns 231,498 shares of the Luxor operator while indirectly holding 36,465 shares.
Regarding MGM, the Bellagio operator’s shares disappointed last year when considering the impressive monthly gross gaming revenue (GGR) data delivered by Nevada casino companies. However, the stock is on a torrid pace to start 2023, soaring 20.13% since the start of the year.
Sanders MGM Stock Sale Not Alarming
Sanders’ Jan. 23 sale of MGM stock arrived after the executive sold 10,000 shares of MGM on Jan. 6 and another 10,000 three days at average prices of $36 and $38, respectively. He also sold 20,000 shares at an average price of $38 last November, according to a regulatory filing.
While the COO’s recent sting of trimming exposure to the gaming company’s shares may be seen as cause for alarm among some investors, insider selling can be and often is merely a symptom of an executive wanting to raise cash or diversify personal portfolio holdings.
Conversely, insider buying is generally viewed in a positive light because the investment community believes those with intimate knowledge of a firm only buy shares for one reason: because they think the stock will appreciate.
Additionally, MGM is one of the gaming industry’s most diligent buyers of its own shares, having orchestrated massive share repurchases over the past couple of years.
Last week, speculation resurfaced that MGM could make another takeover offer for Entain Plc (OTC: GMVHY), its partner in the BetMGM business.
The Las Vegas-based company hasn’t publicly confirmed if it will make another run at the Coral owner. As such, it’s not yet known how a proposal will be constructed — all cash, all stock or a mixture of the two. However, if equity is involved, the suitor’s shares are likely to decline when news of the bid becomes public.
In January 2021, MGM offered $11.06 billion in cash and equity for the Ladbrokes owner, but that proposal was ultimately turned away.
For MGM, it makes sense to acquire Entain, because in the BetMGM agreement, the latter provides technology services. But the unit derives benefit from the gaming company’s well-known brand and land-based operations in select states, positioning it capture iGaming licenses in those locations.
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