Melco Crown Gains as Earnings Ease Macau Gaming Slowdown Concern

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Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. ended a two-day losing streak after the Macau casino operator exceeded analysts’ earnings estimates, easing concern that a sales slowdown in the gambling enclave is eroding profit.

The American depositary receipts climbed 1.4 percent to $20.03 in New York. A Bloomberg gauge of U.S.-traded Chinese stocks advanced 1.5 percent as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. rallied after the online retailer named a new chief executive officer and posted a 45 increase in first-quarter revenue.

Melco Crown posted $253.3 million in adjusted property earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the first quarter, beating analysts estimates. The results came after a report showed declines in Macau gaming revenue slowed for a second straight month. Gambling has slumped as high rollers were dissuaded from playing there amid concern President Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign will attract scrutiny and after the government tightened visa rules.

“Profitability is well maintained” at all Macau casino operators, including Melco Crown, Lawrence Haverty, a fund manager at Gamco Investors Inc. in Rye, New York, said by phone Thursday. The downturn has probably reached its bottom as there have been signs of strength among Chinese consumers, whose newly created wealth will eventually “filter down to Macau,” he said.

Alibaba, JD.Com

Alibaba rallied 7.5 percent to $86. It was the best performer in the the Bloomberg China-US Equity Index, which rose to 127.57. Daniel Zhang will replace Jonathan Lu as CEO, the company said Thursday, after reporting sales that rose to 17.4 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) in the three months through March, beating analysts estimates.

JD.com Inc., China’s second-biggest e-commerce operator after Alibaba, gained for the first time in three days, adding 1.9 percent to $33.08. Jumei International Holding Ltd., an online cosmetics seller, rose 6.8 percent to a six-month high of $23.04.

The iShares China Large-Cap ETF, the largest Chinese exchange-traded fund in the U.S., fell less than 0.1 percent to $49.29, extending a slump into a third day.

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