No restructuring for Las Vegas Sands

Mar 17, 2009 4:10 PM
Industry Insider by Ray Poirier | Sheldon Adelson, founder and chief investor in Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) doesn’t have much use for the gaming analysts that have contributed to the company’s share value plummeting.

He told the group attending an investors’ forum last week that he believes strongly in his company despite what other people have been saying and writing.

"The difference between us and you guys," he said, "is that we believe what we say. Apparently, the market doesn’t believe us."

He noted that the company, although heavily in debt, will have principal payments of $114.6 million this year and $197.6 million in 2010. With that, he said, the company won’t have to hire a restructuring firm to help it deal with its outstanding debt, a procedure becoming more popular of late among gaming companies.

And, while writers were speculating as to whether the company would lose other top executives, such as departing Bill Wiedner, the former president and COO who was replaced last week, Adelson said he felt "nobody’s indispensable."

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He added (surely no reference to his neighbor Steve Wynn), "The only indispensability in our lives are our wives."

As for the company’s resilience, Adelson found company in Janet Braeshear of Bernstein Research who wrote that the current LVS stock price doesn’t give the casino operator enough credit that it can weather the storm and survive its current troubles.

She noted that the company is poised to benefit from the $740 million Sands of Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, set to open on May 23, and the $4 billion-plus Marina Bay Sands in Singapore opening in 2010.

"Singapore, in particular, is well-positioned in a strong market with significant upside potential," she said in a note to clients.

She maintains an "outperform" rating on the stock and has set an $8 price target.