hares of Sands China, the Macau unit of Las Vegas Sands, rose as much as 4.72 % to a near three-week high of us$ 1.27, while Wynn Macau, the Macau unit of Wynn Resorts, advanced 3.56 % to a three-week high of us$ 1.21. SJM Holdings, Macau gambling tycoon Stanley Ho's flagship firm, gained as much as 5.7 % to its highest level in more than two months at us$ 0.56.
Macau casino revenue rose 48 % to us$1.42 billion in December compared with a year earlier, according to a report from Susquehanna Financial that cited Portuguese news agency Lusa. "The first half will be very strong; we should see momentum maintain," said Aaron Fischer, CLSA's head of Asian consumer and gaming. "We believe the earnings will surprise significantly on the upside," Fischer said. "Revenue growth has been very strong for the last few months and these companies have been cutting costs a lot."
Fischer expects Macau gambling revenues to rise 17 % in 2010. In 2009, gambling revenues rose 10 % from a year ago.
Fischer's top picks are Wynn Macau, which is slated to open a new Macau resort on April 1, and SJM, Macau's biggest casino operator by market share, thanks to the recent opening of its latest property, "Casino Oceanus."
Shares of Galaxy Entertainment Group rose as much as 3.1 % to a two-week high of us$ 0.40, while Melco International Development, which is owned by Macau gambling scion Lawrence Ho, rose as much as 3.91 % to its highest level in more than two weeks at us$ 0,45.