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Macau Casinos Drop After February Revenue Misses Estimate

Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. fell the most in almost two weeks, leading a drop in casinos as HSBC Global Research said gambling revenue lagged behind its projection for the first 17 days of February.

Galaxy plunged 4.9 percent to HK$33.15, headed for the biggest decline since Feb. 6. Billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s Sands China Ltd. dropped 4.4 percent and Wynn Macau Ltd. lost 2.9 percent.

Macau’s gambling revenue for the first 17 days of February came in at 15.2 billion patacas ($1.9 billion) and was below HSBC’s estimates, Sean Monaghan, a Singapore-based analyst wrote in a research note dated Feb. 18. VIP, or high-stakes, gamblers may have stayed away to avoid crowds during the New Year holiday, HSBC said.

SJM Holdings Ltd. dropped 5.3 percent, while MGM China Holdings Ltd. fell 3.9 percent and Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. declined 2.1 percent.

Macau tourist arrivals pulled back to 127,412 on Feb. 16 from a peak of 166,581 on Feb. 12 during last week’s Lunar New Year holiday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from Macau government statistics.

While mainland tourist arrivals over the Lunar New Year rose 20 percent from the year-earlier holiday, that has not filtered into revenue growth for the industry, CLSA said in a research note today. It downgraded Wynn Macau to outperform from buy.

Macau’s casino revenue climbed 14 percent to a record 304 billion patacas ($38 billion) last year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vinicy Chan in Hong Kong at vchan91@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anjali Cordeiro at acordeiro2@bloomberg.net

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