Regulators say Wynn probe continues, even after Wynn quits
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) —
For Wynn Resorts, the sun rose Wednesday.
So what are its prospects, I asked the smartest wall street guy I watch on tv.
CNBC's Jim Cramer:
“Steve Wynn is a genius. Without him, that company cannot prosper,” Cramer said, in his usual no-nonsense take.
Wynn is intertwined with his company, his creation. He's denied charges of sexual misconduct and said last night "I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles."
Gaming analysts say Wynn's departure will not shatter the company.
"From a fundamental standpoint, we see a minimal impact," says Chad Beynon from Macquarie Securities.
Gaming regulators both in Nevada and Massachusetts today made clear Wednesday their investigations into the allegations will continue.
They could do nothing, or levy fines, or revoke gaming licenses.
It's high stakes: Wynn has expansion plans here, and a two-point-four billion dollar resort going up outside Boston.
Wynn is also being investigated in Macau, where he makes the bulk of his revenue. When the allegations broke January 26th in the Wall Street Journal, Wynn’s board of directors set up a special committee to investigate, headed by former water authority head Pat Mulroy.
Wynn’s resignation hasn’t changed anything, says the company.
“The special committee of the board of directors remains active,” says Wynn spokesperson Michael Weaver.
For Nevada gaming regulators, it could be a wide-ranging review.
“It's not just one person. We oversee the entire company, the management, the people, the patrons, so there is an investigation and the board works methodically so nothing's going to happen overnight. This will be a process, not an event,” says Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman Tony Alamo.
With Wynn's resignation, the company is now led by Matt Maddox, who's been with Wynn since 2002.
The company told me Wednesday, it's full speed ahead: all of its current projects are going forward.
Wynn stock Wednesday rose, up about 14 dollars a share. For Jim Cramer, that says something.
“Well, I gotta tell you: the fact that the stock went up today on steve's departure tells me the company's for sale,” Cramer says.
Not even two-weeks-ago, you would have been laughed out of Las Vegas saying that. But Wynn's properties here and abroad are jewels.
“An MGM, a packer from Australia, they would covet these properties that this man built,” Cramer adds.
They're still standing. And now entering the post-Wynn era.