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In-line quarter with a big boost from luck in Singapore

CONF NOTES

  • LVS's January Macau total market share: 19.7%
  • 3 growth segments in Macau:
    • Transportation/infrastructure
    • Hotel rooms, through Sands Cotai Central 
    • Chinese urban population
  • Asia opportunities: Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam
  • 10th straight sequential gain in EBITDA
  • Selling of LVS's mall operations would erase all debt 
  • Sands Bethlehem:
    • Retail mall grand opening will be Feb 15
    • New meeting rooms will be completed by March 1

Q & A

  • MBS
    • 2011 rolling moving average hold was 2.85%
    • 4Q Normalized EBITDA: $45-50MM benefit
    • 4Q Normalized EBITDA margin: middle of 50-55%; mix was not as favorable as previous Qs and the property also had higher bad debt expense.
    • Premium direct is very concentrated which will create volatility but they are still growing
    • Mass: varies from $1.6MM per day to $4.6MM per day; can get to $5MM per day; 
    • FX was 'stable': $1.21-$1.30 Singapore $; doesn't have a significant impact
    • 80% foreigners
    • Talking to government about getting more hotel rooms due to high occupancy rate
    • Receivable: $650MM
      • Reserve: 18%
      • Normal reserve: Approximate 3-7% of win; for Q4, it was 10%. On an annual basis, it was 6%.
  • Macau
    • Venetian Macau high Q4 margin:
      • Margin was not 'out of the ordinary' and 'is sustainable'
      • Still haven't seen much junket movement there
      • Mass/ETGs will continue to dominate performance there
    • Four Seasons Q4 normalized EBITDA for low hold impact: +$7 or 8MM
  • Las Vegas had a "huge December"
  • Still see upward momentum in Macau and Singapore
  • Dividend will cost ~$800MM a year; stock buyback will cost 'many billions of $s'--that kind of money would be better suited for Asian development/investment
  • "We are in a class by ourselves" and therefore deserve a premium multiple
  • No timing for a potential sale of the Grand Canal Shoppes in Venetian Macau.  Many of their tenants are paying % rents. Temptation is not to sell.  If they are going to sell, it they won't do it for at least two years, when and if growth begins to level off.  Look at the opportunity as a "secret savings account."
  • They think that there is more opportunity to better yield manage their table real estate in Macau and so you may see further investment in that area in 2012
  • They have applied to the government for the development of Site 3 for a 4,000 room development with another mass market casino and separate tower for VIP play.
  • Industry underappreciates the growth potential of Sands Cotai Central - they have a Mountain and Polynesian themed casino
  • They believe that the junkets have an incredible opportunity at the Venetian.  Venetian Macau will continue to grow and grow.
  • How profitable is their non-gaming revenue at Singapore?
    • Margins on F&B - 30%
    • Margins on rooms - 83%
  • Costs continue to grow in Macau and Singapore because of inflation but revenues are also growing so they can maintain margins
  • Think that Sands China board would approve the same dividend that they gave last year in their next meeting. The dividend is intended to be a semi-annual steady dividend
  • High hold doesn't depress RC.  So that's not why their RC was low at MBS. 
  • Sites 5 & 6 - what's left under the table cap and where will the tables come from?
    • Will move tables between Mass and VIP and between properties based on demand
    • They can keep moving around their tables
    • Goal is to yield manage their tables between all their properties
  • If and when they do Site 3, they will get more tables
  • Are the junkets in Macau having any collection issues?
    • No issues on their junket or direct business
  • Why is their slot business outperforming?
    • Believe that they have the best people yield managing their floor
    • Having lots of rooms is an incredible advantage for them 
    • Lots of non-gaming amenities to drive traffic
  • Sands Cotai - which pieces are expected to come out of the box faster?
    • All of their VIP rooms are sold out in Sands Central  - so that will ramp up quickly
    • VIP should start faster, Mass will take a little time to ramp
  • How has the slot floor changed over the last 6 months?
    • Radical and consistent changes all the time
  • Singapore Grand Ballroom space is sold out for 2012

HIGHLIGHTS FROM RELEASE

  • The strong cash flow, liquidity and financial position of the company have allowed us to declare a recurring annual dividend. The Las Vegas Sands board of directors declared yesterday an annual dividend of $1.00 per common share to be paid quarterly, with the initial payment to be made on March 30, 2012 to shareholders of record on March 20, 2012.
  • Sands Cotai Central, the first phase of which will open approximately eight weeks from today.
  • Marina Bay Sands produced a record $426.9 million of adjusted property EBITDA during the quarter and an EBITDA margin of 52.9%.
  • Vegas: 
    • Table game drop was up 14.9% 
    • 91% of our occupied rooms during the quarter were sold to cash-paying customers, compared to 82% in the fourth quarter of 2010.
    • REVPAR up 13%
  • Cash: $3.9BN ($7.1MM restricted cash)
  • Debt:$10.03BN
    • Total principal payments in 2012 and 2013, which principally relate to our Singapore Credit Facility, are approximately $455.8 million and $530.0 million, respectively.
  • Capex: $420.9MM, including construction and development activities of $308.0MM in Macao, $73.1MM at Marina Bay Sands, $30.1MM in Las Vegas and $9.7MM at Sands Bethlehem.