Las Vegas Sands earnings top forecasts with Macau casino rebound, better results from Marina Bay Sands

Chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation Sheldon Adelson is seen on screens (bottom left, centre, right) at the base of a replica of the Eiffel Tower shortly before the opening of the Sands new mega resort The Parisian in Macau. PHOTO: AFP

LAS VEGAS (BLOOMBERG) - Las Vegas Sands Corp, the world's largest casino owner, reported third-quarter earnings that beat analysts' estimates, benefiting from a rebound in gaming and hotel bookings in Macau.

Profit rose to 72 US cents a share, excluding some items, Las Vegas-based Sands said on Thursday (Nov 3)in a statement. Analysts were predicting 60 cents, the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Sands, founded by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, opened the US$2.9 billion Parisian resort in Macau in September. The property features a half-sized replica of the Eiffel Tower, as well as a water park for kids and a shopping mall with street performers. It made its debut amid signs of a recovery in gambling in Macau, the only place in China where casinos are legal.

The new Parisian Macao contributed US$19 million of adjusted property earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) during its first 18 days of operation, the company said.

Adjusted property EBITDA at the Sands' biggest property, Venetian Macao, surged 23 per cent to S$314.8 million. That figure at the Sands Cotai rose 3.6 per cent to US$176.6 million.

Net sales at the Venetian Macau increased to US$772.5 million, compared with US$699.6 million a year earlier.

In Las Vegas, property EBITDA climbed 6.9 per cent to US$85.3 million.

That figure for Singapore's Marina Bay Sands, the group's second-largest market, was US$390.7 million, up slightly from a year earlier.

Overall, sales at Sands rose 2.6 per cent to US$2.97 billion, ahead of projections of US$2.82 billion.

The company and other Macau operators built their newest properties during a two-year slump in the market, prompted by a Chinese government crackdown on corruption on the mainland. The region experienced its third straight month of gambling growth in October. Reports of higher visitation early in October also suggest the market is rebounding.

Sands' strong quarter contrasts with that of the Macau unit of Wynn Resorts, which posted quarterly profit that missed analysts' estimates as its new US$4.4 billion project in the former Portuguese colony failed to lift betting revenue there. One of the reasons may be that the new property had been impeded by nearby construction. Wynn has been working with the Macau government to make improvements, such as crosswalks, to make it easier to get to.

Sands shares rose 2.7 per cent to US$58.25 in extended trading on Thursday after the announcement. The stock fell 1.5 per cent to US$56.74 at the close in New York Thursday and has advanced 29 per cent this year.

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