VICI Properties Rallies on Addition to S&P 500

VICI Properties (NYSE:VICI) soared in Friday’s after-hours trading session on news the casino landlord is joining the S&P 500.

VICI S&P 500
VICI S&P 500
Excalibur on the Las Vegas Strip. Owner VICI Properties is joining the S&P 500. (Image: YouTube)

Shares of the Caesars Palace owner jumped almost 7% in extended trading following a modest decline during traditional trading hours. VICI is one of two publicly traded casino real estate investment trusts (REITs) — Gaming and Leisure Properties (NASDAQ:GLPI) — but the Mirage owner is the only one of the pair joining the S&P 500.

VICI, which was spun off from Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) in 2017, is one of three additions to the S&P 500. Keurig Dr Pepper (NYSE:KDP) and ON Semiconductor (NASDAQ:ON) are the others.

VICI Properties Inc. (NYSE:VICI) will replace Cerner Corp. (NASD: CERN) in the S&P 500 prior to the open of trading on Wednesday, June 8. S&P 500 constituent Oracle Corp. (NYSE:ORCL) is acquiring Cerner in a deal expected to be completed soon,” said S&P Dow Jones Indices in a statement.

VICI is higher by 4.25% year-to-date, easily beating the broader market and the real estate sector.

Prestigious Accolade for VICI

While the S&P 500 is home to more than 500 stocks, inclusion in the index carries an aura of prestige for member companies

An addition to the S&P 500 is significant for a stock for several reasons, including the index’s status as the premier avenue for tracking US large-cap stocks.

“The S&P 500 is widely regarded as the best single gauge of large-cap U.S. equities. According to our Annual Survey of Assets, an estimated USD 13.5 trillion is indexed or benchmarked to the index, with indexed assets comprising approximately USD 5.4 trillion of this total (as of Dec. 31, 2020),” according to the index provider.

With VICI’s inclusion in the benchmark, the stock becomes more appealing to a broader audience of institutional investors, including fund managers that benchmark to the index.

VICI joins Caesars, Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS), MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM), Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) as the gaming names in the S&P 500.

VICI Asserting Itself

Beyond joining the S&P 500, VICI’s been a torrid pace of acquisitions — one that created the largest owner of hotel and convention real estate in the US.

Last year, the REIT the Venetian, and the Venetian Expo and Convention Center and that announcement was followed by the $17.2 billion takeover of MGM Growth Properties, which wrapped up in late April.

Not only did VICI add 15 Las Vegas and regional casinos with the MGP deal, it added nearly 41,000 hotel rooms and 1.2 million square feet of gaming space, making it the largest casino landlord on the Strip.

VICI now owns the property assets of Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Mirage, New York New York, and Park MGM, as well as various regional casinos operated by MGM Resorts.

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