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On track for HK$24-25BN in January

Macau generated average daily table win of HK$782 million in the first 8 days of the month versus HK$706 million in December.  The first week definitely received a boost from December 31st being counted in January but we’ve also heard the mid-week performance was strong.  Remember that the Chinese New Year celebration will take place in January of this year versus February of last year so the comp is relatively easy.  Nevertheless, we expect that the accelerated growth rate from December’s GGR YoY increase of 25% should be received warmly.  We’ve seen at least one estimate of 50% YoY growth for January but we think that is too aggressive and not consensus.  We are maintaining our expectations of HK$24-25 billion, which would represent +32-40% YoY growth.  The higher end of that range looks more likely given the strength of the first 8 days.

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While market share is pretty irrelevant after only one week of data, LVS was definitely the standout.  We surmise that VIP volumes and hold played a role in the first week.  Rather than focus on share, the early January results should be taken as a positive for all the Macau operators.  MPEL remains our favorite through earnings season given the magnitude of the earnings beat we are expecting for Q4 and the likely improved sentiment as January continues to come in hot.

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