rofit excluding some items was 34 cents a share, more than the 24-cent average of 21 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Hong Kong-listed unit Sands China surged by a record 9 % while the parent’s stock jumped 10 % in New York extended trading.
Billionaire founder and CEO Sheldon Adelson, who loaned his company money two years ago to eliminate bankruptcy fears, opened the us$ 5.5 billion Marina Bay Sands casino resort in Singapore in phases starting in April. Las Vegas Sands restarted its mothballed expansion in Macau, China, the world’s biggest casino center.
“Strong revenue growth and increases in operational efficiency in Macau and outstanding results at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore contributed to substantial margin expansion,” Adelson said in the statement. “We are confident that Marina Bay Sands will provide an ideal platform for strong growth and outstanding returns.”
Las Vegas Sands rose us$ 4.19 to us$ 45.25 in extended trading after the earnings announcement. The shares gained 6 cents to us$ 41.06 during regular New York Stock Exchange hours and have almost tripled this year.
Sands China Surges
Macau unit Sands China climbed by us$ 0.16 to close at a record us$ 2 at the 4 p.m. close of trading in Hong Kong. The gain is the biggest since the stock started trading in November. The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 0.2 %. Sales jumped 67 % to us$ 1.91 billion, from us$ 1.14 billion, the Las Vegas-based company said yesterday in a statement, surpassing analysts’ us$ 1.79 billion average estimate.
Cash flow, measured as adjusted property earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, more than doubled to us$ 645.2 million, beating analysts’ projections of us$ 530 million. Singapore cash flow was us$ 241.6 million, and Macau cash flow gained 41 % to us$ 334.6 million. Macau, the only place in China where casinos are legal, saw total gambling revenue surge 60 % in the nine months through September.
Companywide Ebitda will be “substantially in excess” of the us$ 3 billion Adelson earlier forecast for 2011, he said on a conference call. Singapore Ebitda alone may be as high as us$ 2 billion in 2012, he said.
Sands China is “on pace for a record October,” after a “strong” Golden Week, a Chinese holiday this month, Adelson said on the call. The Macau-based company’s revenue increased 28 % to us$ 1.08 billion and adjusted property Ebitda gained 43 % on a record result at its Four Seasons Hotel Macao and Plaza Casino.
“Better performance from Four Seasons and stringent cost control underpins the rapid earnings growth and margins,” Aaron Fischer, an analyst at CLSA, said in a note to clients today. Fischer affirmed his “buy” rating on Sands China.
The company may open all of the retail areas planned in Singapore by the end of 2011, COO Mike Leven said on the call. Executives “don’t see any let up in growth” at the resort, and payroll is expected to increase to about 8,400 employees as planned, he said.
The quarterly net income of us$ 214.5 million, compared with a net loss of us$ 76.5 million a year earlier, the company said.
Las Vegas Sands’ Venetian and Palazzo resorts on the Las Vegas Strip reported Ebitda rose 69 % to us$ 58.3 million, as the casinos won more at the tables and filled more rooms. Las Vegas is emerging from a record two-year drop in corporate meetings and gambling.
Las Vegas Sands said this week that its Venetian and Palazzo casino resorts in Las Vegas will join InterContinental Hotels Group’s database and loyalty program, gaining access to travelers who can help fill the properties’ 7,000 suites.
In August, Las Vegas Sands amended its US loan to get more flexibility and delay maturities in exchange for a higher interest rate. The company also agreed to repay about us$ 1 billion of the debt. Sands China raised us$ 2.5 billion last year in a Hong Kong initial public offering and convertible bond issue to repay loans and resume construction.
The company suspended projects in Macau, Las Vegas and Pennsylvania in November 2008, when the financial crisis froze funding and decimated casino company share prices, and while auditors questioned its solvency. Most of Sands’ building projects have since restarted.
Overall, Macau casino revenue in the first nine months advanced 60 % to us$ 16.6 billion from the same period last year, according to Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. Las Vegas Strip gambling proceeds increased 4.5 % to us$ 3.81 billion in the first eight months of this year, data from Nevada’s Gaming Control Board show.