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Why Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd's Shares Fell in April

City of Dreams Manila in The Philippines. Image source: Melco Crown.

What: Shares of Macau gaming company Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd (NASDAQ: MPEL) had a rough time in April, falling 10%, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The stock has recovered slightly in early May, but the reason the stock fell last month could be a big deal long-term.

So what: Melco Crown fell early in April because Macau's gaming market fell 16.3% in March to $2.25 billion. This was after some glimmers of hope in the first two months of the year that gaming might be near a bottom, or even rebounding.

Ironically, the recovery of the stock in May has been because April's gaming numbers beat expectations. But revenue was down 9.5% from a year ago to $2.17 billion, so there's not exactly a recovery.

Now what: Macau is where Melco Crown gets a vast majority of its revenue, so the Macau gaming market overall has a huge impact on the company's operations. From its peak, Macau's gaming has fallen over 50%, and that's resulted in a stock slide for Melco Crown over the last two years. But there was hope from both investors and executives that we may be hitting a bottom, and gaming may start to recover by the end of the year. Right now, there doesn't seem to be a lot of evidence that's taking place, so investors should be wary of betting too big on Melco Crown right now.