Insider sales hurt LVS

Sep 27, 2005 7:10 AM

Despite good news on two fronts, interest in the shares of Las Vegas Sands Corporation (LVS) languished last week with the share price flirting with a 52-week low.

Cause of investors’ concerns, said one industry reporter, was the major sale of company stock by chairman Sheldon Adelson, members of his family through trusts, and by other executives.

On Sept. 13 alone, nearly three million shares were traded at $35.64 a share, causing other shareholders to join the selling spree. By the end of last week, the shares were trading in the $32 range.

And, all this was happening, said the observer, at a time when the company was the recipient of good news on at least two fronts.

The City Council of Bethlehem, Pa., rejected a bid to ban gaming after seeing a proposal by LVS and its development partner for an off-track slot machine facility. This paved the way for Las Vegas Sands to petition the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a slots license in a community whose economy was shattered with the closing of one of America’s previous steel mills.

And across the pond, the Glasgow City Council approved LVS and its partner Glasgow Rangers Football Club to develop a casino/entertainment complex in that community. The action was the first of any local community considering gaming, thus projecting LVS to the head of the list for one the United Kingdom’s super casino licenses.

On Monday, officials in Singapore, the independent community that looks to improve its tourism by adding a casino project to its mix of hotels, announced that they were delaying its request for proposals until the end of November. They said the affected agencies "need more time to adequately address the concerns raised."

Affected were such giant gaming companies as Las Vegas Sands, MGM MIRAGE Inc. (MGM) and Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. (HET).

Just a day earlier, LVS announced it planned to "usher in a new era of entertainment in Singapore" by partnering with Clear Channel Entertainment to produce "a unique, global entertainment and tourism hub" in Singapore.