Las Vegas properties hurt Las Vegas Sands

Feb 23, 2010 4:35 AM
Industry Insider by Ray Poirier |

Once again, the loss experienced by Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) during the fourth quarter of 2009 was smaller than the previous year but still failed to meet analysts’ expectations.

The company’s problems were with its two Las Vegas Strip properties, The Venetian and Palazzo.

Revenues were $263.7 million, 19.4% decline from the $327.1 million recorded in the comparable quarter of a year earlier.

The bright spot was the 15.3% increase in net revenue, $284.9 million, at the Sands Macau; the 20.9% increase, $570 million, at The Venetian Macau, and the 131.8% increase, $97.8 million, at the Four Seasons Macau.

Asia is where the company expects to see its future growth, says Sheldon Adelson, chairman and CEO.

Adelson said that he believes Las Vegas is suffering from a lower business cycle from which it will recover at some time in the future. However, the major growth he says will be in the Asian market.

Net loss for the quarter was $113.9 million or $0.17 per share. Analysts had expected the company to show a profit of $0.02 per share.

Adelson noted that the Las Vegas properties suffered primarily from less group business. However, he already is seeing greater booking activities for 2010.

"We believe 2010 will reflect a recovery in the group business," he said.

As for Macau, Adelson said he believes the increase in business helps the company justify restarting the Cotai Strip construction project. The project was revitalized following the company’s Hong Kong IPO that generated $2.5 billion in available cash.

Sometime within the next two or three months the company will open its multi-billion gaming/entertaining project in Singapore.

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