EARNINGS PREVIEW: Large US Casinos Likely Did Well in 4th Q

Date : 01/31/2011 @ 12:46PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Boyd Gaming Corp. (BYD)
Quote : 25.86  -0.12 (-0.46%) @ 3:59PM

EARNINGS PREVIEW: Large US Casinos Likely Did Well in 4th Q

Penn National (NASDAQ:PENN)
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TAKING THE PULSE: Wall Street expects big U.S.-based casino operators to report improved quarterly results when they close the books on 2010 as consumer spending has continued to climb, leading to sharply higher revenue. Acquisitions and soaring gambling demand in Asia also are expected to help bolster the companies' results, and continued cost cuts also may help improve bottom lines.

 
   COMPANIES TO WATCH: 
 
   Penn National Gaming Inc. (PENN) - reports Feb. 3 
 

Wall Street's Expectations: Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast earnings of 27 cents a share on $630 million in revenue. A year earlier, the company posted a loss of $4.54 a share, with charges totaling $478.8 million, and revenue of $555.8 million.

Key Issues: Penn, which operates U.S. horse-racing facilities and casinos mostly in the Midwest, South and on the East Coast, has performed relatively well of late despite the cutback in consumer spending. It has worked to cut costs, and revenue has improved recently.

 
   Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) - reports Feb. 3 
 

Wall Street's Expectations: Wall Street has Las Vegas Sands pegged for 39 cents of earnings and $2.07 billion in revenue. A year earlier, the company lost 17 cents a share--or three cents of adjusted profit--on $1.38 billion in revenue.

Key Issues: Moody's in November upgraded Las Vegas Sands, citing "very strong" initial operating results from its Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore that opened in August. The agency also said it expected results to continue to benefit from its significant presence in the Asian gaming market, which should see growing traffic. The company's results have gotten better lately, and it posted record revenue in the third quarter.

 
   MGM Resorts International (MGM) - reports Feb. 14 
 

Wall Street's Expectations: Analysts expect MGM to lose 22 cents a share on $1.49 billion in revenue. A year earlier, the company posted a loss of 98 cents and revenue of $1.45 billion.

Key Issues: MGM has posted losses lately, hurt by hefty write-downs related to its struggling Las Vegas City Center complex, which it owns in a joint venture with Dubai World. The joint venture announced plans earlier this month to issue $1.1 billion of notes to help reduce the balance outstanding under the $8.7 billion project's credit facility. City Center isn't MGM's only problem, though--company also has seen revenue decline recently at most of its casinos.

 
   Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) - reporting date TBA 
 

Wall Street's Expectations: Analysts expect earnings of 65 cents and revenue of $1.13 billion. A year ago, Wynn posted a four-cent loss and revenue was $809.3 million.

Key Issues: Like Las Vegas Sands, Wynn has seen boosted revenue of late, helped by continuing strong growth in the Chinese gambling enclave of China. Revenue and profit in its Macau unit both jumped by more than half in the third quarter, and its overall casino revenue has improved sharply.

 
   Boyd Gaming Corp. (BYD) - reporting date TBA 
 

Wall Street's Expectations: Boyd is expected to lose a nickel on $553 million in revenue, according to analysts' forecasts. The company recorded a one-cent loss, barely eking out a profit on an adjusted basis, and revenue was $384.9 million.

Key Issues: Boyd in October passed on its chance to match an offer to buy from MGM the 50% stake of the Borgata resort that it didn't own, saying that matching the bid wouldn't provide a good enough return on investment. Revenue has been boosted by the stake in Borgata, but results adjusting for its ownership have fallen. The company in November said about 58% of notes were tendered in an offer to buy $158.8 million of debt at a 0.4% premium.

(The Thomson Reuters estimates and year-earlier results may not be comparable due to one-time items and other adjustments.)

 
 

-By Nathan Becker, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2855; nathan.becker@dowjones.com;

 
 

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