Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets! ... on China.
Shares of Las Vegas Sands (LVS) rallied 6% Thursday after the casino operator's creme de la creme Macau property delivered "record financial results."
Las Vegas Sands also beat revenue forecasts and hiked its dividend by 5 cents. That was enough to offset any disappointment from the company's earnings shortfall.
The company has carved out a nice cushy position for itself on the key Cotai Strip, which drew 11 million visitors to Las Vegas Sands' properties during the fourth quarter.
But they shouldn't get too comfortable. Rivals are nipping at its heels.
MGM Resorts International (MGM) recently got the green light to build a $2.5 billion hotel-casino on the Strip. And Wynn Resorts (WYNN) is moving forward with plans to open a $4 billion resort on the Cotai Strip in 2017 -- a year later than originally planned and coinciding with MGM's planned debut.
StockTwits traders were also placing their bets on Asia.
Asia clearly delivering across the board for Sands; strong casino growth = super cash generation = big cash returns for shareholders $LVS
That's very true. Just take a look at the stock. Shares have soared nearly 38% over the past six months. That's not too shabby.
They also weren't alone. Both MGM and Wynn had similar rallies, which just goes to show that investors like to gamble in good times and in bad. It's not like the economy was falling off a cliff (get it? cliff?). But it's clearly not all about the U.S. For all three big casino operators, Macau is the place to be right now.
Singapore has been a bit of a hit or miss, as VIP gamers cooled their heels a bit. And analysts are still putting most of their chips on Macau.
But Las Vegas Sands is stepping up its marketing efforts in Singapore so stay tuned.
Haha. I hear that. The Strip no longer refers to Sunset or Vegas. It's all about Macau baby!
Investors betting on casino stocks are seeing a nice payoff Thursday.
Wynn Resorts (WYNN), which operates casinos in Las Vegas and Macau, blew past analysts' expectations, reporting earnings per share late Wednesday of $1.48 and announcing a special $7.50 dividend. Aptly named Wynn also said it expects to double its quarterly dividend to $1 in fiscal 2013.
One note of caution: revenue was just in line with estimates. That's symptomatic of MORECatherine Tymkiw - Oct 25, 2012 11:57 AM ET
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