In preparation for LVS's Q1 earnings, we've highlighted management's forward looking commentary from its Q4 conference call and subsequent investor conferences.
LVS hasn't set an earnings date but we're guessing it could be Thursday after the close. We are considerably above the Street in company EBITDA, $341 million versus $295 million, respectively. We estimate total Macau EBITDA to be $273 million and Las Vegas to generate $101 million. We think Las Vegas played lucky in the quarter and we are estimating 24% table hold versus 20.5% last year. Baccarat volume was also very strong in Las Vegas.
Business update from Deutsche Bank's conference on 3/3/2010 and CLSA AsiaUSA Forum on 3/1/2010:
- "I think that I do know that we’ll probably reach about our goal of 660,000 room nights. I think we’re somewhere about 500,000 now and our goal for next year is 800,000 plus and then I think we’ll bring it back to the most recent pre-crisis number. And from my standpoint, that gives us a base of about 7,100 suites and then we can yield up from there."
- "So I think we look very good, our numbers were primarily beginning with the two for the ADR and I think our occupancy rate was starting with a nine (January and February)."
- "We’ve checked out what Singapore is doing and what Genting is doing and they’re doing incredible numbers, like S$500 bet on baccarat. But that was the holiday. Now they are down to about 250, S$300. So take 70% of that, so it’s over $200 for the average bet in baccarat. Compare that to Macau, which is $85. Compare that to Vegas, which is $25... But that’s on the mass market side."
- "We can only figure the theoretical, but based on my 20-year experience in Vegas, it’s typically about half of what the actual is. So, the bottom line is that Mike Leven and I have discussed over the last couple of days, redoing our numbers on the high side. And we were estimating $3,600 per win per table per day and about 250 or $300 win per slot per day. And now we find out that the slots (from Genting) were winning $1,000 a day."
- Customers for MBS: "The first country is of course Singapore. The first country beyond Singapore is Malaysia. Also, Indonesia will be two, Thailand will be three, the Vietnamese might be four and China would be five. But on the high roller side, I don’t think we’re looking at any mass market. Mass market may come from Malaysia, Indonesia, maybe some from Thailand, but we’re going to raise the level of spend that each person from Thailand would bring with them. So the average batch will be significantly higher, which is what Genting is showing us up till now. The average batch is significantly higher than what we’re experiencing both in Vegas and Macau."
- "As far as the hiatus concern, we have no indication except people that we talk to, and our own sales people– field junket reps. They just get a commission on sending some body in with a small several thousand dollar cap for the commission. They don’t provide credit or they don’t provide collection or something like that, they just send the player in."
- Japan: "There is a committee of one member of each of the two governments, the LDP and DPJ, with whom we’ve met before. It’s a long process because Japanese change things very slowly. But what you should know is that there’s 16,000 pachinko parlors that does admittedly 25 billion."
- Conventions/FIT: "So, gaming is in everybody’s nature, FYI, only 14% of the people who go to Vegas, according to the convention authorities research, go for the purpose of gaming; that means 86% go for other reasons, including conventions. We see the convention market picking up, I won’t say significantly, but I will say substantially from where it was. It was at it lowest point last year, and one guy characterized that they’re coming in force. For this year and we think next year, there’s a possibility we’ll get back to the levels of ‘07. So, the groups are picking up, but the FIT market is low."
Q4 Conference Call:
- Sands Bethlehem: "We expect to introduce approximately 80 tables to the property in the third quarter."
- "The pace of group bookings continues to improve and all signs indicate 2011 will be stronger than ‘10. In 2009 we realized approximately 470,000 group room nights, as of today we have more than that number on our books for 2010."
- "In addition, in March, we expect to close the previously announced $1.75 billion credit facility to fund construction of parcels 5 and 6 in Macau."
- Rates: "We’re trending down, relative to 2009 rates, we’re 211 for actual group segment for the year. We’re down in the 180 range for 2010, high 170’s, low 180’s."