Casino and hospitality giant MGM Resorts International has posted its financial results for the third quarter of the year. For the period ended September 30, the company delivered consolidated net revenues of $3.4 billion compared to $2.7 billion in the prior year's quarter, an increase of 26%. The jump was driven by record Las Vegas Strip resorts revenue and Adjusted Property EBITDAR, partly credited to revenue generated by new property The Cosmopolitan.
The quarter benefited from the inclusion of the operating results of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Aria and Vdara upon their acquisition in May 2022 and September 2021, respectively. Additionally, results improved over the prior year's quarter due to increased business volume and travel activity primarily at the Las Vegas Strip resorts.
With The Cosmopolitan's contribution, and full three-quarters of operations at Aria, the company generated $2.3 billion from its Strip properties, up 67% year-over-year. However, this did not prevent the company from reporting a net loss of $1.05 billion – $1.45 a share – on revenue of $3.42 billion. A year ago, the company had posted net income of $1.89 billion – $2.77 a share – on revenue of $2.71 billion.
MGM’s net loss was majorly credited to an accounting change under a new law governing the company’s two properties in Macau. The company explained in a statement that in Q3 it faced a $1.2 billion increase in noncash amortization expense “relating to a change in the useful life” of the MGM Grand Paradise gaming sub-concession as a result of new Macau gaming laws and related changes, and due to the $2.3 billion gain on consolidation of CityCenter.
Despite setbacks in Macau, Bill Hornbuckle, CEO and President of MGM, highlighted the company posted its “best quarter in our Las Vegas Strip history.” Occupancy and room rates helped drive revenue growth, with MGM reporting a 93% occupancy rate for the quarter, the highest it’s been since the start of the pandemic. “We really like where we are in Las Vegas,” Hornbuckle said in a call with investors, as reported by Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The key driver of the occupancy gain is midweek demand, pointed out CFO Jonathan Halkyard during the call, which is returning to more normal levels as convention and groups return. The average daily room rate of $227 million in Q3 was a 26% year-over-year increase. And as the convention mix returns, the company is displacing less profitable, but still important, leisure business, Halkyard noted.
Company officials also tackled MGM’s Macau operations. The business is currently bidding for a 10-year gaming concession to continue operating in the gaming hub. Like other companies operating there, MGM weathered downturns in the market amid China’s strict “Zero Covid” policies, which included both property closures and travel restrictions. However, Hubert Wang, President and COO of MGM China, said the company’s Macau resorts are hopeful that a return to online visa requests – now available in all Chinese provinces – will boost visitation, adds Review-Journal.
The MGM Cotai property reopened Wednesday, after being closed since Sunday because a dealer there had tested positive for Covid-19, resulting in all employees and visitors being confined in the building. Revenues for MGM’s China division came at $87 million in Q3, compared to $289 million in the prior-year quarter, a decrease of 70%.
The company also made progress on a number of fronts, including its projects for New York and Osaka, Japan. The company has submitted its proposal for licensing in NY, and Hornbuckle said MGM hopes to hear from the state by January 1. The firm operates the Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway and is vying for one of three casino licenses to be awarded in the New York City area, which would allow it to expand its offerings to full Las Vegas-style gaming.
Moreover, during the third quarter, MGM also completed its acquisition of Sweden-based online gaming operator LeoVegas for $607 million. The purchase is set to expand MGM’s interactive gaming footprint. Hornbuckle called the closure of the transaction a “key milestone” for the business. “Our outlook remains promising,” he stated.
"We continue to see great value in our Company's shares and repurchased approximately 10 million shares for an aggregate amount of $307 million in the quarter," noted Halkyard. "We remain disciplined in our approach to capital deployment and are focused on maintaining a strong balance sheet with adequate liquidity, while also pursuing growth opportunities with the greatest return to shareholders."
MGM shares, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, fell 83 cents, 2.31%, Wednesday to $35.11 a share in slightly above-average trading. After hours, the stock continued to fall, down another $1.61, 4.59%, to end at $33.50 a share.