Strong quarter a Macau success

Mar 15, 2005 7:11 AM

Record fourth quarter and full year 2004 earnings were reported by Las Vegas Sands Inc. (LVS) whose officials credited the strong results to the revenues generated by the company’s operation in Macau.

During the fourth quarter, the company said it had net income of $69.3 million or $0.21 per diluted share. Revenue for the period reached $347.6 million compared to the $173.4 million reported in the fourth quarter of 2003.

Net revenue for the full year was $1.197 billion, easily topping the previous year’s $691.8 million.

Sheldon Adelson, chairman and CEO, called 2004 "a momentous (year) for Las Vegas Sands Corp. We completed our IPO (initial public offering) and successfully opened the first Las Vegas-style casino in Macau. We believe these and other events position us well for strong long-term growth."

Among the accomplishments listed by the company for fiscal year 2004 were the start of construction of the $1.6 billion 3,025-suite Palazzo Casino Resort adjoining the Las Vegas Sands on the Las Vegas Strip’ the launching of construction of the $1.8 billion, 3000-suite Venetian Macao Casino Resort on the Cotai Strip in Macau, China, and the sale of the Grand Canal Shops mall for $766 million, yielding a pre-tax gain of $417.6 million and additional deferred pre-tax gain of $1.86.4 million.

William Wiedner, president and COO, remarked, "Business trends continued to be strong throughout 2004, with strong gaming revenue trends in Macau and significant increases in room rates at the Venetian in Las Vegas. In particular, the fourth quarter of 2004 reflects a continuation from the third quarter of strong gaming revenues at the Sands Macao and continuing growth in our convention-based room business in Las Vegas."

During the fourth quarter, the Venetian generated net revenues of $164.6 million. A year earlier, the net revenues were $153 million. Average daily room rate in 2004 was $222 up from the $189 achieved in the fourth quarter of 2003.

Casino revenues were $72.4 million, an increase of 8.2% from the $66.9 million in the fourth quarter a year earlier.

Following the earnings announcement, the company revealed that it has entered into an agreement to develop a casino resort with the Hong Kong hotel company Regal Hotels International Holdings Ltd.

MTR Gaming

Net income increased 12% to $2.6 million during the fourth quarter of 2004 compared to $2.3 million in 2003, according to a report of MTR Gaming Group Inc. (MNTG). This resulted in earnings of $0.09 per share, slightly better that 2003’s $0.08 per diluted share.

For the entire year, total revenues were $315.2 million, a jump of 7% over the $293.6 million reported in 2003. Net income fell to $14.5 million or $0.50 per share compared to the previous year’s $14.5 million or $0.53 per share.

The company noted that a day earlier it had taken over the operation of Binion’s Gambling Hall & Hotel, formerly known as Binion’s Horseshoe and operated by Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. (HET) in downtown Las Vegas.