Las Vegas Sands shares volatile before, after Monday’s Q4 report

Feb 5, 2008 6:35 AM

Shares in both Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) and Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) declined in trading on Monday following an analyst’s opinion that LVS would fail to meet fourth quarter financial estimates.

The Las Vegas-based company has seen volatility in its share price primarily because of actions taking place in the Chinese enclave of Macau.

Dennis Forst of KeyBanc Capital Markets, noting that the company was scheduled to report fourth quarter results on Monday after the close of trading, said he expected earnings per share to be somewhere between his forecast of $0.23 per share and the $0.35 considered the average of all analysts.

"We are concerned that a perceived shortfall will bring about temporary weakness in these volatile shares," he wrote in a note to clients.

Although WYNN shares were not mentioned, it appeared they also were feeling the effects of the analyst’s note.

Costly doubts

It has been nine months since a private equity group announced an offer to buy Penn National Gaming Inc. (PENN) for $6.1 billion or $67 a share.

Yet, neither the company, nor its buyer, the partnership of Fortress Investment Group and Centerbridge Partners, has indicated that they are prepared to consummate the deal.

Because of the problems leveraged buyout companies have had in obtaining financing for these types of projects, the price of PENN shares have plummeted, indicating strong doubts the deal will be accomplished. The share price has fallen to the $51 level.

More information may be forthcoming shortly when representatives of Penn National Gaming and the private equity companies appear before the N.J. Racing Commission.

Hey Buddy!

R.D. Hubbard, who parlayed his interest in Hollywood Park into a growing gaming enterprise before running into regulatory problems in Indiana, knows the value of having friends in high places.

Hubbard, who has owned and operated Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico for many years, was one of several applicants for the racing and later slots licenses for a racetrack in Hobbs, N.M. He eventually received the license, built the track, installed slots and within a few months sold the property for a substantial profit.

Unsuccessful Hobbs license applicants complained that Hubbard benefited from having friends in high places but nothing ever came of it.

Now, Gov. Bill Richardson has proposed a tax reduction for just one track/racino operating in New Mexico”¦Ruidoso Downs. His legislative proposal would lower the tax rate for any tack with a net win of less than $14 million a year. Of New Mexico’s five tracks, only Hubbard’s Ruidoso Downs would qualify.

THE INSIDER: Pennsylvania state gaming regulators are looking for ways to remove the gambling license awarded to Louis DeNaples for his Mount Airy Casino Resort. DeNaples faces a felony indictment charging he committed perjury.

Voters in south Florida have approved slots for Calder Race Course, Flagler Greyhounds and Miami Jai-Alai.

Macau gambling giant Stanley Ho has introduced Texas Hold’em gaming tables at his Grand Lisboa flagship casino. He is the first to bring the poker game to Macau.

Analysts at Bear Stearns have downgraded the shares of Scientific Games Corp. (SGMS) from outperform to peer perform. This is the second downgrade of the company’s shares in the past three months.

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer would like to beef the state’s revenues by selling a slots license for Belmont Park racetrack for $250 million.

Cash Systems Inc. (CKNN) has announced a new multi-year contract with The Wildwood Casino in Cripple Creek, Colo.

Veteran gaming executive Tom Celani has bought a 22% stake in Detroit’s Greektown Casino from the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. He now becomes president of the casino.

PokerTek Inc. (PTEK) will announce fourth quarter results on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. PDT.

Representatives of Mohegan Sun Resort in Connecticut drew a standing-room only crowd last week when they explained their plans for a $1 billion casino complex in Palmer, Mass., should they be granted a license.

Foxwoods Resort officials say they plan to open the MGM Grand at Foxwoods property in May and are now interviewing for the 2,000 jobs that will be created.

Sol Kerzner and his partners, who own the Twin River racino in Lincoln, R.I., say they could bring in an additional $16.5 million annual state revenue if they are allowed to remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

After reviewing the ferry service started by Sheldon Adelson, to benefit his Venetian Macau casino/resort, a Macau court has lifted an injunction that suspended the ferry boat service. Inc. (UBET) says it has sold its Bruen Productions unit back to its original owner.

British bookmaker Ladbrokes says it no longer has any interest in bidding on the 16 casino licenses expected to be made available by the government in the next few weeks.