Casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) said Wednesday that it lost money in the fourth quarter on expenses to open its Singapore resort and charges to write down the value of properties in Macau and Pennsylvania.
The company led by billionaire Sheldon Adelson saw improvements in its gambling business in Macau but no sign of a rebound in the Las Vegas market, which has been battered by the recession and high unemployment.
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Growth fell in Macau with the onset of the economic crisis, but has since recovered because of a robust Chinese economy and relaxed visa restrictions on mainland Chinese tourists. Macau has surpassed the Las Vegas Strip as the world's most lucrative gambling market.
The loss of $113.9 million, or 17 cents per share, compares with a loss of $136.5 million, or 27 cents per share, during the same quarter a year ago.
Excluding the one-time costs, adjusted net income was $20.9 million, 3 cents per share.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, whose estimates generally exclude one-time items, expected Sands to earn 3 cents per share on revenue of $1.23 billion.
Sands said it lost $540 million for all of 2009, compared with $188.8 million in 2008.
The Las Vegas-based company said it had $1.88 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter and $4.56 billion for all of 2009, compared with $1.09 billion in the fourth quarter one year ago and $4.39 billion in 2008.
Sands owns the Venetian Macao, Sands Macao and Four Seasons Hotel Macao and Plaza Casino in Macau and and the Venetian and Palazzo casino resorts in Las Vegas.
Its fourth-quarter revenue at three casinos in the Chinese gambling enclave were $952.8 million, compared with just $263.7 million from its Las Vegas operations. Sands said it had an operating loss of $15.7 million at its Venetian Las Vegas and Palazzo Las Vegas casino-resorts.
Adelson said record revenues in Macau were helped by strong gambling revenue and cost cuts implemented last year.
Company officials said its Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore would open in late April. Adelson told investors in a conference call that an opening date will be announced next week.
Sands said it spent $42.1 million on pre-opening expenses in the fourth quarter, primarily on the Singapore resort. It reported $154.5 million in depreciation and amortization expenses for the quarter.
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