Philippine-based casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp on Monday acquired an additional 808,000 company shares from the open market, it announced in a filing.
“The purpose of the share buyback is to allow Bloomberry Resorts to acquire enough listed Bloomberry Resorts shares (while the share price is low) that will cover the total number of shares granted to certain officers and employees under the stock incentive plan that will vest in the future,” the company stated in Tuesday’s filing.
The shares were acquired at an average price of PHP3.51 (US$0.07) apiece, according to company data. That was close to its 52-week low of PHP3.50 and well bellow the PHP13.40 peak in that period.
Bloomberry Resorts has bought back almost 18.09 million shares since last June. The company has more than 11.01 billion outstanding shares.
Several companies with casino interests in the Philippines have been buying back shares since last year, as their stock prices have been going down. Annual stock price declines for 2015 ranged from 46 percent for Travellers International Hotel Group Inc – operator of the Resorts World Manila casino hotel – to more than 80 percent in the case of Melco Crown Philippines Resorts Corp, which operates the City of Dreams Manila property.
Bloomberry Resorts posted a 64-percent annual decline in share price for the period, show data compiled by GGRAsia from investment research firm Morningstar Inc.
Share buybacks typically have the effect of concentrating the value of existing shareholders, say investment analysts.
Bloomberry Resorts built and manages Solaire Resort and Casino (pictured) in Manila, which opened in March 2013. In November 2014 the property opened its Sky Tower, with 66 VIP gaming tables and 223 slot machines.
Bloomberry Resorts – which also has a majority stake in Jeju Sun Hotel and Casino, on South Korea’s southern holiday island Jeju – reported a net loss amounting to PHP189.5 million for the third quarter of 2015, compared to a profit of PHP991.7 million a year earlier.
The casino operator is also seeking a gaming permit in Argentina. According to media reports, Bloomberry Resorts in December submitted an “indication of interest” for an integrated resort project in Cyprus.
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”We expect Goa to quickly become a US$1 billion market as it transitions to land-based casinos (from US$150 million today), which is still just a fraction of India’s total GGR potential of US$10 billion to US$17 billion”
Analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia