Despite slow recovery trends, Sands bullish on investment

  • Las Vegas Sands Corp. Wednesday reported an 82% net revenue drop in the third quarter compared to the same period in 2019.
  • The latest figures reveal how the pandemic continues to plague the company.
  • However, Sands is committed to investing during these lean times, pumping money into properties in Macao and Singapore.
  • Over the past few months, gaming analysts have been pessimistic about the recovery of the Macao region.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. Wednesday reported an 82% net revenue drop in the third quarter compared to the same period last year, revealing that the pandemic is still blistering the company.

The net revenue was $586 million compared with last year’s $3.3 billion in the third quarter. Net loss was $731 million, down from $669 in net income year-over-year.

However, Sands is investing, something that companies do in lean times. The company opened the Grand Suites at Four Seasons Macao, a $450-million investment in 290 deluxe suites in two towers. Sands is also pumping $1.35 billion into rebranding Sands Cotai Central into the Londoner. It has scheduled various improvements to begin through 2021.

The company is still committed to spending $3.3 billion on a new deluxe tower at its Marina Bay Sands property and a new arena in Singapore. It plans to open the business in 2024.

The company’s Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson said the recovery from the pandemic is progressing in its markets, including Las Vegas, Singapore, and Macao, where it is the market leader.

In a statement, Adelson said Sands remains “optimistic about the eventual complete recovery of travel and tourism spending across” its markets.

Recent months have seen gaming analysts become more pessimistic about the recovery of the Macao region. Macao’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau reported that gross revenue from casinos in the region was $166.7 million in August, down 94.5% from last year’s $3.041 billion.

On Monday, J.P. Morgan analyst Joseph Greff reported that the recovery during the Golden Week period (which is a major holiday in China) earlier this month wasn’t as fast as expected. Greff said that the loosening of travel restrictions has done little to boost visitation and revenue recovery.

A UBS Investment Research report shows that gaming revenue for Golden Week was down 75% year-over-year due to the current regulatory pressures on the VIP segment.

On October 18, Union Gaming analyst John DeCree wrote that he hadn’t seen “any sign of recovery” in the Macao region since the reopening of casinos. He said that the current market conditions there do not give any reason to recommend Macao casino operator shares.

MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts Ltd. are the other Las Vegas-based operators with operations in Macao. MGM is set to announce earnings on October 29, while Wynn Resorts is yet to disclose a release date.

Sands shares were down 0.6% Wednesday to $45.94 in below-average trading on the New York Stock Exchange. However, the stock was up $2.06, 4.5% rebound after a few hours to end at $48 per share.

I'm Adam Shaw, Senior Editor and one of the first members at VegasSlots. I'm a massive football sports fan but also love casinos and occasional trips to Las Vegas. Gaming runs in the family

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