Golden shares jump more than 6% after stock purchase by company director Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · November 15, 2019 at 5:57 am A stock purchase Thursday by one of the directors in Golden Entertainment gave the casino operator another boost in its share value following last week’s lift from third quarter earnings. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Golden director Anthony Marnell III said he acquired 64,095 shares of the Las Vegas-based company’s stock at an average of price $16.85. Marnell, personally and through various trusts, owns roughly 881,700 Golden shares. On Thursday, Golden closed up 6.66% or $1.13 to finish the Nasdaq trading session at $18.10.Last Friday, the company’s stock price jumped 3.21%, a day after Golden said third quarter revenues increased more than 15 percent and it would complete renovations at its flagship Strat resort in downtown Las Vegas earlier than anticipated. Following Golden’s earnings announcement, analysts predicted a bump in the company’s stock value.“Shares of Golden have been range-bound from $12-to-$16 during the last eight months as the attractive free cash flow yield has been masked by the Strat renovations and the negative disruption in (earnings), while under construction,” Macquarie Securities gaming analyst Chad Beynon told investors. Beynon said an expected cash flow increase gives company management the money to reduce debt, repurchase shares or explore the active casino industry merger and acquisition market. Golden operates 10 casinos – nine in Nevada and the Rocky Gap in Western Maryland. The company also has slot route operation business in Nevada and Montana with expansion opportunities in Illinois and Pennsylvania. “Importantly, this doesn’t mean that they don’t believe in the merits in spending more money at the Strat,” Beynon said. “It just means that that they’re taking the opportunity to assess risk adjusted returns.” Union Gaming Group analyst John DeCree increased his price target of Golden Entertainment to $23 per share after earnings. He said his estimates for the company remained unchanged. “We also see considerable valuation support for both of the company’s business segments,” DeCree told investors. “The recent casino and land sales on the Las Vegas Strip highlight the value of the company’s real estate and land, specifically at the Strat.” DeCree said the interest surrounding an Illinois slot machine route operator and the potential market expansion, “should help highlight the value of Golden’s distributed segment as well.” Marnell became a director in Golden earlier this year after the company completed a $190 million purchase of the Colorado Belle and Edgewater casinos in Laughlin, Nevada, two properties Marnell owned through his Marnell Gaming, LLC, a company he founded in 2006. Marnell still owns the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nevada near Reno. The acquisition of the Colorado Belle and Edgewater gave Golden ownership of three casinos in the 11-property Laughlin market, which run adjacent to the Colorado River. The company acquired Aquarius a year earlier. Marnell III built the nearly $1 billion M Resort in the far south end of the Las Vegas Valley in 2009, but the casino-hotel was on the verge of bankruptcy a year later. Penn National Gaming took control of the property in 2011. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.