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Las Vegas Sands Profit Surges; Stock Up


Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) Wednesday reported a nearly 36 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit, as the casino operator benefited from growth at its Macau operations, partly offset by charges related to its Sands Cotai Central project and lower table games hold in Singapore.

Both earnings and revenues for the quarter topped Wall Street estimates, sending Las Vegas Sands shares up more than 7 percent in after-hours trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

CEO Sheldon Adelson said that its Cotai Strip properties will propel growth in the future.

Macau has been a lucrative market for casino operators such as Las Vegas Sands and rival Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN), despite regulatory issues companies face there. Las Vegas Sands last year opened its impressive $4 billion Sands Cotai Central resort in Macau, with the second phase unraveled last September. The business generated revenues of about $491 million in the quarter. Recently, media reports said Las Vegas Sands received Macau government's approval to add 200 highly prized gambling tables to its properties.

Overall, at the company's China operations, Sands China Ltd., revenues for the quarter surged 48 percent from last year to $1.97 billion. Revenues at Marina Bay Sands operations in Singapore fell 11 percent, and Las Vegas operations were down 9.2 percent.

The casino operator reported fourth-quarter net revenues of $3.08 billion, compared with $2.54 billion iin the prior year. On average, 21 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters estimated revenues of $3.01 billion for the quarter.

Net income to common shares for the quarter totaled $435 million or $0.53 per share, compared with $320 million or $0.39 per share last year.

Excluding items, adjusted earnings for the quarter were $450.5 million or $0.54 per share, compared with $461 million or $0.57 per share a year ago.

Twenty-three analysts on consensus estimated earnings of $0.59 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

LVS stock closed Wednesday at $51.56, up 0.94%, on a volume of 9.5 million shares on the NSYE. In after hours, the stock gained $3.84 or 7.45%. In the past year, the stock traded in a range of $34.72 - $62.09.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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