Morgan Stanley changes opinion on Sands ChinaAugust 11, 2014 7:05 PM by Ray Poirier
Analysts look to two different gambling segments when considering the impact of a slowdown in Macau. The first is the obvious VIP market that involves the high-rollers who are guided to Macau from mainland China by licensed tour groups. The second has been dubbed the “mass market” crowd.
Obviously, low numbers in June, said analysts, were caused by fewer VIP groups because so many high-stakes gamblers preferred to stay in China during the World Soccer Cup.
But, also affected, was the mass market, which also felt the impact of fewer numbers.
Because of this, Morgan Stanley analysts, who have for months touted Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) as a Macau investment, have changed their opinions. They now say Sands China, a subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands that operate the most casinos and hotels in Macau, is “no longer a best idea.”
“The recent slowdown in mass segment,” they said in a recent note, “rise in staff costs due to labor shortage that will continue for some time, stalled construction of Parisian (next Cotai project) and general investor sentiment may keep stock price in a tight range or lower in the very near term.”
Shares in LVS plummeted in value last week.
Ray Poirier is the longtime executive editor at GamingToday.
Contact Ray at RayPoirier@GamingToday.com.
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Gaming revenue in Macau casinos fell 34.5 percent during July, compared to the same month a year ago. The total for the month was $2.3 million. It was the 14th consecutive month of year-to-year declines.