- Casino shares surge in Hong Kong, led by Wynn’s China unit
- January was Macau unit's ‘best month in a long time’: Wynn
Wynn Resorts Ltd. shares jumped after fourth-quarter earnings beat analysts’ estimates, with revenue growth in Las Vegas partially offsetting a decline in the Macau business.
Earnings excluding some items fell to $1.03 a share, the Las Vegas-based company said Thursday in a statement, compared with the 76-cent average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. January was the Macau business’s “best month in a long time,” billionaire founder Steve Wynn said in a post-earnings conference call.
Wynn Resorts, like other Macau casino operators, has suffered through a two-year slump in betting by high-rollers. Betting revenue in the Chinese enclave fell 27 percent to 54.8 billion patacas ($6.8 billion) in the fourth quarter. Still, that was smallest quarterly decline of 2015, leaving some analysts to suggest the market may be bottoming out.
Shares of Wynn Resorts surged as much as 13 percent. Other casino companies shares also rallied, with Las Vegas Sands Corp. climbing as much as 7.3 percent, its highest intraday rise since Oct. 5, and MGM Resorts International soaring as much as 6.1 percent.
- Macau earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell 34 percent to $160.1 million
- Las Vegas Ebitda rose 15 percent to $127.4 million.
- Revenue fell 17 percent to $946.9 million, compared with estimates of $949.5 million. Wynn got 59 percent of its revenue from Macau in the fourth quarter.
The company is seeing some pickup in hotel occupancy and stabilization of some retailers as well as visits to its Macau casino, said Wynn Resorts President Matt Maddox.
Shares of Wynn Macau rose 3.6 percent to HK$7.77 at the close in Hong Kong. The other four casino companies listed in the city also climbed, with MGM China Holdings Ltd. up 3.4 percent and Sands China Ltd. up 2.1 percent. The benchmark Hang Seng Index lost 1.2 percent.
Wynn said he expects the number of junket operators, which bring in high rollers to its Macau casino, will drop to as low as four, about half of the current number because of weakness in some operators. Still, there’s no shortage of wealthy gamblers in China and he expects to draw them to his casino, the gambling mogul said.
The company said it’s working with its contractor in Macau and still hopes its new casino in the developing Cotai district will open on June 25. The $4.1 billion Wynn Palace is one of three new casinos expected to open in 2016 from the U.S. based-companies operating there.