The stock has lost around 70 percent of its value since October

Las Vegas Sands posts second-quarter net loss

(US / Macau).- Casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp on Wednesday posted a net loss in the second quarter due to costs related to opening casinos in the United States and Macau, and said the weak US economy was hurting business in Vegas.
United States
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Sands shares fell nearly 4 percent in after-hours trade. The stock has lost around 70 percent of its value since October, as investors began to question growth assumptions for Chinese gambling enclave of Macau.

Sands, whose chief executive officer is billionaire Sheldon Adelson, posted a net loss for the quarter of us$ 8.8 million, or 2 cents per share, compared with net income of us$ 34.4 million, or 10 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding a loss on disposal of assets, development expense and other items, the Las Vegas-based company said it earned 9 cents a share in the quarter, which fell short of the average analyst estimate of 11 cents a share, as compiled by Reuters Estimates. Net revenue rose 81.4 percent to us$ 1.11 billion, matching the average analyst estimate.

Sands opened in January its 3,000-room Palazzo resort in Las Vegas, adjacent to its Venetian hotel-casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center, but the property’s ramp-up has been slower than expected and ongoing economic weakness has taken a toll on all Las Vegas Strip resorts.

Sands said Las Vegas operating income fell 26.2 percent to us$ 42.1 million due to costs related to opening the Palazzo. Excluding those costs income rose 28.1 percent to us$ 106.6 million.

In Macau, the only part of China where gambling is legal, the company has operated a casino since 2004, and last August opened a second property, the Venetian Macao - the world’s biggest casino.

Competitors Wynn Resorts Ltd and MGM Mirage also opened casinos in the Chinese gambling haven last year. Sands said casino revenue at the Venetian Macao totaled us$ 415.6 million in its third full quarter of operations, while operating income was us$ 83.6 million.

Second-quarter casino revenue at the older resort, Sands Macao, fell 29.8 percent to us$ 262.2 million, while operating income slid to us$ 40.2 million from us$ 104.7 million. Weidner said Sands has begun to implement a plan that will trim between us$ 60 million and us$ 70 million of annual operating expense from its Macau properties.

Sands is developing a string of resorts in a part of Macau dubbed the Cotai Strip, including a Four Seasons hotel slated to open next month. Elsewhere, the company is building a casino project in Singapore slated to open next December and a 126-acre casino resort development on the site of the former Bethlehem Steel plant in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which is expected to open next July.

Shares of Sands, which rose 8.6 percent to close at us$ 47.82 on the New York Stock Exchange, were down nearly 4 percent at us$ 46 after hours.

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