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Las Vegas Sands’ Earnings Top Estimates on Macau Gambling Pickup

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May 1 (Bloomberg) -- Las Vegas Sands Corp., the casino company controlled by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, reported first-quarter earnings that exceeded analysts’ estimates as growth in Macau gambling accelerated.

Net income rose 15 percent to $572 million, or 69 cents a share, the Las Vegas-based company said today in a statement. Excluding items, profit of 71 cents beat the 67-cent average of 23 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue increased 20 percent to $3.3 billion, exceeding the $3.27 billion average of estimates.

Gambling growth in Macau, where Las Vegas Sands owns four casinos, has accelerated this year. Revenue for the operators there rose 15 percent in the first quarter to 85.3 billion patacas ($10.6 billion), according to Bloomberg Industries research.

Las Vegas Sands said in a March regulatory filing that an internal audit had revealed “likely violations of the books and records and internal provisions” of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a federal law that bars payments to foreign officials for favors.

Last week Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP, Las Vegas Sands’ auditor since the company first sold stock to the public in 2004, resigned. The casino operator said there had been no reportable disagreements with Pricewaterhouse going back to 2011 and that it is seeking a replacement.

Las Vegas Sands rose 1.6 percent to $57.15 in extended trading. The stock finished unchanged at $56.25 at the close in New York and has gained 22 percent this year.

(Las Vegas Sands plans a conference call at 4:30 p.m. New York time at www.lasvegassands.com.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Palmeri in Los Angeles at cpalmeri1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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