International casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp is introducing a US$2.0-billion stock repurchase programme, that will run until November 3, 2025. The announcement was made on Wednesday, in tandem with the release of the firm’s third quarter results.
Patrick Dumont, president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands, said in a conference call after the results announcement, that the company would now favour stock repurchases rather than dividends as a way of returning value to shareholders.
“As we consider our future capital return, we expect share repurchases will be more heavily weighted than dividends,” he said. “We fundamentally believe in the compounding long-term benefit of the share repurchases.”
The timing and actual number of shares to be repurchased under the US$2-billion scheme “will depend on a variety of factors”, Las Vegas Sands said. These included the company’s financial position, earnings, other investment opportunities and market conditions.
Las Vegas Sands announced in July it would resume its quarterly dividend programme, at US$0.20 per common share. The first dividend was paid on August 16; the next payment is scheduled for November 15.
Las Vegas Sands runs the Marina Bay Sands casino resort in Singapore. The firm is the parent of Macau-based Sands China Ltd, which operates a series of casino properties in Macau.
During Wednesday’s conference call, Las Vegas Sands management said it continued bullish on the outlook for the Macau gaming market, and in further improving operational margins, eventually surpassing pre-Covid-19 levels. The executive team noted that airport capacity in Macau and Hong Kong still remained below pre-Covid-19 levels.
“Frictional transportation difficulties are still real”, said Mr Dumont, although pointing the situation was “getting better”.
“Customers can get to Macau a little more easily in this quarter than they could the quarter before, but we’re still not back to normal.”
He added: “The recovery story is not fully there in terms of air travel and in terms of accessibility. I think it’s on the way, but it’s not it’s not fully back.”
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