Thursday, February 25, 2010

Casinos: Wynn Resorts Loses $0.04 Per Share in Q4, Misses Wall Street Expectations, Prepares for Expansion in Macau & Philly

So Wynn's earnings are now in, and it's looking more like a mixed bag that Wall Street isn't too enthusiastic about.

Wynn Resorts, a Las Vegas-based casino operator run by billionaire Steve Wynn, has had a tougher time getting luxury customers to pay top dollar for trips and entertainment at its high-end resorts in Las Vegas.

But strong results in Macau, the Chinese gambling enclave, helped offset losses in Sin City, and the company's profit and revenue beat analyst expectations.

Here's a summary of Wynn Resorts' fourth-quarter results for 2009 compared with the same quarter a year earlier:

- NET REVENUE: $809.3 million, up from $614.3 million in fourth quarter 2008

- NET LOSS: $5.2 million, smaller than the $159.6 million loss a year earlier.

- CASINO REVENUE: $591.8 million, up from $455.9 million

- HOTEL REVENUE: $92.7 million, up from $75 million

- FOOD AND BEVERAGE REVENUE: $106.1 million, up from $83.1 million

- OPERATING COSTS: $763.8 million, up from $614.6 million

- LONG-TERM DEBT: $3.6 billion

- FULL-YEAR NET INCOME: $20.7 million, down from $210.5 million in 2008.

Apparently the revenue numbers beat Wall Street estimates, but earnings did not. Oh, and Steve Wynn is still not in a patriotic mood. He's still trashing President Obama here while praising the Communist regime in China.

Steve Wynn said he's not optimistic about Las Vegas until the economy improves for working Americans -- and for companies that book meetings in Sin City.

''I'm afraid to say that I think the outlook for 2010 is very conservative,'' he said. ''I don't see any major change in the future. I don't see it getting worse per se, but I do think that unless there is some signal from Washington that they can control the deficits, that not only Las Vegas but the country faces dire problems.''

Excluding one-time items, Wynn Resorts earned $10.3 million, or 8 cents per share, for the fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 31. Analysts forecast profit of 7 cents per share.

Its net revenue was $809.3 million, compared with $614.3 million a year earlier. Analysts expected revenue of $785 million.

Wynn's revenue per available room, a key metric for lodging companies, was $233 in Macau, 2.9 percent less than a year earlier. In Las Vegas, it was $178, which was 20.6 percent less than in the fourth quarter of 2008.

The company's quarterly operating income of $89 million in China's gambling enclave, Macau, made up for operating losses of $56.7 million in Las Vegas.

''We're more of a Chinese company than American company today as we're having this call,'' Wynn said. ''I love it. Thank God for being outside the United States today. There isn't an executive in the world that isn't thrilled about being outside the United States today.''

HUH??!! Again, Steve Wynn just doesn't get politics... Or for that matter, macroeconomics. Deficits don't matter if people are still without jobs!

Whatever... Back to Wynn Resorts' earnings report.

So Wynn is planing on Encore Macau opening in April. And so far, Wynn Resorts remains very bullish on its prospects in China.

Oh, and we now have more details on the planned Wynn project in Philadelphia. It will be a Wynn branded casino. However, it will NOT include a hotel. It will be targeting mostly customers/gamblers in the greater Philly area, so it's looking like Wynn's planning on more of a "locals' casino" for Philly than a real destination resort a la Wynn/Encore Las Vegas or Wynn/Encore Macau. And supposedly, we'll hear even more details of the Philly project later.

So what can we conclude from this? Wynn's Las Vegas operations are slowly improving and moving back toward a regular profit, but it's not quite there yet. And if it weren't for Wynn's Chinese operations, its situation would be much worse.

And Harrah's turned a profit last quarter that no one else, not even Wynn, could match.

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