Las Vegas Sands Earnings Top Estimates on Asia Casino GainsChristopher Palmeri
Las Vegas Sands Corp., the casino company controlled by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, posted third-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates on continued growth in Asia. The company raised its dividend 43 percent.
Profit rose to 82 cents a share, excluding some items, compared with the 77-cent average of 21 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue gained 32 percent to $3.57 billion, the Las Vegas-based company said today in a statement, topping analysts’ estimates of $3.47 billion.
Improving rail and airport links to Macau, China’s gambling enclave, will continue to support Las Vegas Sands’ growth plans, Adelson, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, said on a conference call. Growth in Asia is letting the company repurchase stock and increase the dividend, even as profit in Las Vegas declines.
“These infrastructure investments include the world’s most expensive and extensive high-speed rail system,” Adelson said. A new bridge “will allow passengers arriving by plane at the Hong Kong International Airport to reach Macau in as little as 20 minutes.”
Las Vegas Sands repurchased almost $300 million of stock during the quarter and has committed to spending $75 million a month under its $2 billion buyback authorization, Adelson said. The dividend was increased to 50 cents a quarter from 35 cents previously, starting in 2014, the company said.
Adelson, 80, who owns 51 percent of the stock, said the company will consider paying a special dividend later this year. A previous special payout of $2.75 a share was approved in November 2012.
Third-quarter net income increased 79 percent to $626.7 million, or 76 cents a share, from $349.8 million, or 42 cents, a year earlier, the company said.
Consolidated property earnings increased 46 percent to $1.28 billion, excluding some items, according to the statement, exceeding estimates of $1.19 billion. The Sands China Ltd. subsidiary increased property earnings by 62 percent to $785.3 million, the company said, while profit in Singapore increased 43 percent to $373.6 million.
Adjusted property earnings in Las Vegas declined 11 percent to $87.1 million, while income in Pennsylvania shrank 7.8 percent to $29.6 million, the company said.
Total gross gaming revenue in Macau, Las Vegas Sands’ largest market, rose 20 percent in the third quarter, resulting in record three-month revenue of $11 billion, according to Bloomberg Industries research.
The company is pursuing expansion across Asia, including Japan and South Korea.
“Japan would obviously be the most expensive investment we’ve ever made from a single property standpoint,” President Michael Leven said on the call. “The estimates range anywhere from $6 billion in Tokyo and up. In Korea we would not expect to spend that kind of money at all.
Las Vegas Sands rose 0.4 percent to $71.22 in extended trading at 6:18 p.m., after gaining 2.1 percent to $70.97 at the close in New York. The stock has advanced 54 percent this year.