Mass-market gaming revenue helped to drive a 21.9 percent increase in adjusted property earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in Macau for Las Vegas Sands Corp, to US$801.3 million in the second quarter to June 30, the company announced on Wednesday. Net revenue company wide increased 11.8 percent to US$3.62 billion.
But the firm missed some analysts’ estimates on earnings per share in the second quarter.
Adjusted earnings per diluted share increased 30.8 percent to US$0.85. On a GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) basis, earnings per diluted share increased 29.7 percent to US$0.83).
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn US$0.90 per share on revenue of US$3.80 billion for the second quarter. But analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items, and there was a major one in the quarter. The company paid a “14th month” special bonus accrual for non-management employees in Macau.
Without that bonus to Macau workers, adjusted property EBITDA would have been approximately US$29 million higher both in Macau and on a consolidated basis, and adjusted earnings per diluted share would have been US$0.03 higher, the company said.
Company chairman Sheldon Adelson said on a conference call the firm was focused on reinvesting in the business, including “nurturing and retaining our employees. We also have every intention to continue promoting local talent in Macau.”
The Macau market as a whole saw the share of lower margin VIP gambling slip to 60 percent in the second quarter. Mr Adelson said that although VIP gambling only represented “17 percent of departmental profit in Macau”, that sector had been impacted by some uncertainty in the mainland China economy.
“The press has extensively reported a crackdown of corruption in the PRC [People’s Republic of China] – not in Macau. In the past as I have experienced, that type of crackdown creates uncertainty, [and] uncertainty temporarily slows the VIP market. Let me emphasise it’s temporary and its cyclical. I’ve seen that happen several times in the past 10 years.”
Mr Adelson added: “Clearly the [FIFA] World Cup had an overall negative impact on gross gaming revenue in June, particularly in the VIP segment.” He said it was down 20 percent versus May this year.
But he stated: “Even with the World Cup effect, the mass table revenue per day for June for the whole of Macau was only 1 percent lower than last October, the best month of 2013. That was also the best month in Macau’s history up to the end of 2013.”
Las Vegas Sands paid dividends of US$0.50 per share, an increase of 42.9 percent, and returned US$320.0 million of capital to shareholders through its stock repurchase programme, which it said exceeded its US$75.0 million per month minimum target.
Marina Bay Sands in Singapore generated adjusted property EBITDA of US$417.8 million, an increase of 17.6 percent compared to the second quarter of 2013. Rolling chip win percentage of 3.45 percent in the second quarter of 2014 exceeded both the expected range and the 2.53 percent achieved in the second quarter of 2013.
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