TICKERS: 27.HK, MGM, BYD, SGMS, H, RCL
- May 25: 11pm - Aristocrat 1H 2015 earnings: (; pw: 8770122)
- May 28: MGM Annual General Meeting: Proxy "Fight"
- June 4- CCL: special press announcement in NYC
Macau visitation falls again - Visitor arrivals decreased by 3.4% YoY. The average length of stay of visitors decreased by 0.1 day YoY to 0.9 day. Visitors from Mainland China decreased by 6.4% YoY, with those traveling under the Individual Visit Scheme rising slightly by 0.5%. Visitors from Hong Kong and Taiwan increased by 3.0% and 11.0%, respectively. Guangdong visitors fell 3% while Beijing and Shanghai fell 10% and 13%, respectively.
Takeaway: Fewer visitors, shrinking length of stay. And this is before the supply onslaught. Base mass will continue to be pressured.
Galaxy- Galaxy will get 150 new gaming tables for its HKD19.6-billion (US$2.5-billion) Galaxy Macau Phase 2 property, said Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong Vai Tac. Leong told reporters that the government’s decision was made based on the new non-gaming features to be offered by Galaxy Macau Phase 2 and sister property Broadway at Galaxy Macau, both opening on May 27 in the city’s Cotai district. The official added these features would help diversify the city’s tourism offering.
Leong stated that the allocation of 150 new tables to the project complied with Macau’s table cap system. He added that Galaxy could move around its overall table inventory between properties better to meet the firm’s operational needs. Leong added that the Macau government had not received requests for more gaming tables from any of the other five casino operators in the territory.
Takeaway: Didn't MPEL submit a request for tables at Studio City?
SJM - Following the resumption of construction works in the renovation of the former Casino Jai Alai earlier this month, the property opening date has now been postponed to after 1Q 2016 instead of this year, the chief executive of SJM Ambrose So Shu Fai said. “There has been a delay in the issuance of [the construction] permit to Jai Alai; but two to three weeks ago, we already received permission,” So explained. “The property will open next year but by the first quarter it may not be ready. So the opening date will be later than that,” So added.
A total of some HK$1 billion (US$129 million) has to be invested in the Jai Alai revamped project, So said. In the 2014 annual report filed on March 31, SJM said the firm had entered into capital commitments in connection with the revamp project – named ‘Jai Alai Palace’ - for a total value of about HK$657 million.
Takeaway: Higher capex and delayed opening for Jai Alai
SJM - CEO Ambrose So says that VIP business has been down 30 to 40% in the past few months and he doesn’t know if it has hit the bottom yet. So said that gaming tables in VIP rooms that are no longer in use would be transferred to the mass market to adjust to market changes. However, he pointed out that although there has been a slight growth in the mass market, the growth has “not been enough to fill the gap left by the VIP [market]”. According to So, just “one or two” VIP rooms have closed down at SJM so far.
MGM - MGM Resorts International filed an application with the Public Utilities Commission to purchase power without the state's dominant utility, NV Energy. MGM's application follows the filings this month of Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands, highlighting an attempt at mass departure by the state's influential companies and sparking a debate about consumer choice and protecting ratepayers from higher power bills. Caesars is expected to submit an application in the coming days.
Takeaway: Strip operators trying to save money on utilities.
Paradise - is aiming to sell about 1,000 more live multi-game (LMG) machines in Macau this year, while deploying 700 of such machines in the US market, the company's chairman, Jay Chun said.
The company currently has over 3,500 live multi-game machines installed in 16 casinos in Macau. Chun said that Galaxy Macau Phase II, opening in less than a week, is also one of the clients that his firm is targeting to sell up to 1,000 LMGs.
BYD- issued its $750 million, 6.875 percent senior notes due 2023. Proceeds will be used to repay its 9.125 percent senior notes due 2018.
Takeaway: The transaction allows BYD to lock in a lower borrowing rate and have more flexibility on their balance sheet.
SGMS- renewed its contract for its instant games and cooperative services program for four more years with De Lotto, the national lottery of the Netherlands.
H - invested in onefinestay, a closely held company that enables travelers to rent upscale private homes, the rare instance of a major hotel operator aligning with the burgeoning home-rental industry. Onefinestay matches homeowners looking to rent their residences in London, New York, Los Angeles and Paris with travelers. It manages a portfolio of more than 2,500 homes with a combined value of more than $5 billion, said the company. It is unclear how much Hyatt invested in onefinestay, but a person familiar with the matter said it was part of a nearly $40 million round of funding that was completed at the end of last year.
Takeaway: Hyatt is taking the right step in investing in the home-rental business. Despite mired in legal challenges, home rental companies, highlighted by AirBnB and Homeaway, is a real threat to the hotel industry.
RCL - Allure of the Seas emerged from its 18-day drydock at Navantia with 10 new suites, a revamped Izumi Hibachi & Sushi restaurant, a Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar, a Coastal Kitchen and new boutiques.
SK Cruise- A South Korean government ministry is facing resistance from vested interests inside the country and a lukewarm response from another department in its bid to enable local citizens to gamble aboard cruise ships flying the national flag, reports Yonhap News Agency.
Critics say the proposal amounts in effect to backsliding on a near-nationwide ban on locals gambling. That policy applies specifically to land-based casinos. The ministry promoting the local casino cruise ships idea says there would be tough rules to protect citizens from harm and that South Korean citizens are already using foreign cruise ships for such activities.
According to Yonhap, Maritime Minister Yoo Ki-june, from the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, said locals using such South Korean cruise ships would only be allowed to gamble for five to six hours at most per day while the ships are sailing in international waters. The maximum betting amount for individuals would be below US$100 for a five-day trip, the report added.
Atlantic City - Millennials want to party, not gamble in Atlantic City. Customer surveys conducted for the alliance last fall showed that young singles strongly identify with the city’s nightlife, but they were worried the casino closings had robbed them of their entertainment hotspots. “The closed facilities were of concern,” the survey concluded. “Nightlife was a driver of their trips.”
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, known for its cutting-edge entertainment, is building a $15 million expansion that includes an outdoor concert venue opening in June and a new nightclub that will make its debut at year’s end.
Takeaway: Bad demographics plaguing US gaming nationwide
Hedgeye Macro Team remains negative Europe, their bottom-up, qualitative analysis (Growth/Inflation/Policy framework) indicates that the Eurozone is setting up to enter the ugly Quad4 in Q4 (equating to growth decelerates and inflation decelerates) = Europe Slowing.
Takeaway: European pricing has been a tailwind for CCL and RCL but a negative pivot here looks increasingly likely in 2015.