Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS), a casino-resort developer and operator run by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, reports its fourth-quarter results after the stock market closes Wednesday.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Signs about gambling behavior in Macau and Las Vegas, as well updates about the company's resort under construction in Singapore.
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Sands' fortunes are largely split between Macau, the gambling enclave in China, and Las Vegas. Analysts are more optimistic about results for Macau than Las Vegas, as Sin City has been hurt by fewer tourists and conventions. Business travelers are a key customer for Sands.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said last week that attendance at conventions was down 23.9 percent last year in Las Vegas, while the number of conventions and meetings held was down 13.6 compared with 2008.
Better convention numbers for 2010 would drive more spending at Sands' Las Vegas resorts, the Venetian and Palazzo.
"We believe management will be bullish with respect to (first quarter 2010) Macau trends and the 2010 outlook for Macau, and to a lesser extent Las Vegas, versus current expectations," analyst Joseph Greff of JPMorgan & Co. said in a client note Tuesday.
WHY IT MATTERS: Sands is a leading casino operator with high-end resorts, making its results a key barometer for how gamblers are tourists are spending — or not spending. Tourism in Las Vegas is the key driver for Nevada's economy and strong tourism in Macau is critical for several casino companies.
WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect Las Vegas Sands to earn 3 cents per share on revenue of $1.23 billion.
LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: Las Vegas Sands reported a loss of 4 cents per share on revenue of $1.09 billion.
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