(Adds Singapore, Macau starting in eighth paragraph.)
Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Las Vegas Sands Corp., the U.S. casino company expanding in Macau, said fourth-quarter profit rose 17 percent on growth in Singapore and China. The company also declared its first common stock dividend.
Net income increased to $320.1 million, or 39 cents a share, from $273 million, or 34 cents, a year earlier, the Las Vegas-based company said today in a statement. Profit excluding some items was 57 cents, matching the average of 23 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company will pay an annual dividend of $1 a share, according to the statement.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheldon Adelson said in a September interview the board was considering a payout, as cash generated by growth in Asia outpaces capital needs. Hong Kong-listed Sands China Ltd. said this week it will pay an interim dividend of 58 Hong Kong cents (7.5 cents).
Fourth-quarter revenue gained 26 percent to $2.54 billion, exceeding estimates of $2.47 billion. Cash flow, measured as adjusted property earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, rose 30 percent to $960.6 million, beating analysts’ projections of $884.4 million.
Las Vegas Sands fell 1.9 percent to $49.25 in extended trading after gaining 2.2 percent to $50.18 at the close in New York. Sands China added 0.8 percent to HK$26.45 in Hong Kong.
Las Vegas Sands’ Venetian and Palazzo resorts on the Las Vegas Strip reported Ebitda was little changed at $80.9 million.
Las Vegas is recovering from a record drop in gambling and conventions. Strip-wide betting revenue increased 9 percent in November, the Nevada Gaming Control Board said on Jan. 11
Cash flow at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore jumped 40 percent to a record. Singapore has authorized just two casinos, which Las Vegas Sands and Malaysia’s Genting Bhd. opened in the first half of 2010.
The company’s Macau cash flow jumped 27 percent as VIP and mass-market gamblers played more. Macau, the only place in China where casinos are legal, saw total gambling revenue climb 42 percent last year, to 268 billion patacas ($33.5 billion), according to Macau’s Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau.
Las Vegas Sands, through Hong Kong-listed unit Sands China, is developing casino resorts in Macau to add to its existing properties, the Venetian, Four Seasons and Sands. The first phase of Sands Cotai Central is on track to open in about eight weeks, the company said today.
Macau, about 40 miles west of Hong Kong, surpassed the Las Vegas Strip as the world’s biggest casino revenue hub in 2006.
--Editors: Rob Golum, Cecile Daurat
-0- Feb/01/2012 21:34 GMT
-0- Feb/01/2012 21:59 GMT
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