Growth for Las Vegas Sands insufficient for analysts

By Emma Rumney
Casino operator Las Vegas Sands has recorded increases of 27% in profits for Q2 compared to the same period last year, as well as an overall increase in net revenue of 11.8% and a 29.7% increase in earnings per share.

But the mostly positive results and Sands’ $614.4m worth of profits fell below the expectations of analysts, pushing Sands’ share price down 2.5% on Thursday as a result.

In the three months to 30 June the firm recorded net revenue of $3.62bn and a share price of $0.83 per share, as oppose to analysts’ projections of $3.8bn in net revenue and $0.90 per share.

Others however were surprised that the results were not worse as Macau revenues – which make up 65.7% of Sands’ overall revenue – have just been caught in monthly decline for the first time in more than five years due to a cooling Chinese economy, a crackdown on corruption deterring the country’s high rollers and the distraction of the World Cup.

But Sheldon Adelson, Sands’ billionaire CEO, said: “In Macau, we delivered strong growth in the mass and non-gaming segments of our business. We welcomed nearly 17 million visits during the quarter to our Macau property portfolio.”

The company operates four casino complexes in Macau which together generated $2.38bn in revenue – a 15% increase on the same period last year.

The Venetian Macau lead the way earning $1.03bn (+15.4%), followed by Sands Cotai Central ($785m/+34.4%) and Sands Macau ($313m/+6.2%), with the Four Seasons Hotel Macau and Plaza Casino tailing with $228m (-16.6%).

Adelson said that over the entire quarter Sand’s properties lead the rest of Macau: “During the quarter we again outpaced the market in terms of gaming revenue growth. Our gross gaming revenue was up 12%, versus a market that was up 5%.”

Responding to concerns of sluggish growth on behalf of analysts, he said: “I am absolutely certain we will continue to grow. I want to emphasise that one month or one quarter doesn’t make a trend. And nothing is going to change in Macau.”

Sand’s Singapore development The Marina Bay Sands reported revenue of $804.7m, an increase of 8.8%, while the firm’s two Vegas Strip resorts – The Venetian and Palazzo – earned a combined revenue of $353.1m, an increase of 2.1%.

Net revenue at the Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania however fell 0.6% to $126.1m.

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