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Las Vegas Sands Reports Lower Than Expected Profits

Jul 17, 2014 6:00 am

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Global gaming companies now live and die by Macau, which is showing signs of slowing for the first time in its fantastic growth.

— Samantha Shankman

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Las Vegas Sands Corp., the world’s largest casino operator, reported second-quarter sales and profit that missed analysts’ forecasts, as gambling slowed industrywide in Macau, the No. 1 market.

Net income rose 27 percent to $671.4 million, or 83 cents a share, from $529.8 million, or 64 cents, a year earlier, Las Vegas-based Sands said today in a statement. Excluding some items, earnings of 85 cents missed the 89-cent average of 19 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales grew 12 percent to $3.62 billion, missing the $3.79 billion estimate.

Sands, with leadership in the mass market, contended with an industrywide drop in betting in Macau, the only part of China where casino gambling is legal. The action was clipped by lower spending from high-rollers known as VIPs, with industry revenue in June shrinking 3.7 percent to 27.2 billion patacas ($3.4 billion).

That was the first drop since June 2009, according to John Kempf, an RBC Capital Markets analyst. Authorities in Macau have been making regulatory changes that have crimped casino spending, such has restricting the use of China UnionPay Co.’s debit cards at casinos, Kempf said.

Las Vegas Sands fell 2.1 percent to $72.25 in extended trading. The shares fell 0.6 percent to $73.80 at the close in New York. The shares have fallen 6.4 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Palmeri in Los Angeles at cpalmeri1@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net Rob Golum, Ben Livesey.

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