The Las Vegas Sands Corp is the biggest casino enterprise in the world and derives a significant portion of its revenue from its Macau based subsidiary, the Sands China Ltd. However the collapse of the Macau casino industry during the last twenty four months has impacted gaming revenue for the Sands China Ltd and has hurt the company’s first quarter estimate.
Sands China Ltd missed gaming analyst predictions for the first quarter of 2016 as the company’s adjusted property earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell by 2.5 percent. Sands China brought in $531 million during the first quarter of 2015 but just $517.9 million in the same period in 2016. Gaming analysts had estimated the company to bring in a median estimate of $547 million, but Macau’s anti-corruption campaign and the slowdown in China’s economy has not helped Sands China with revenue earnings. The announcement caused the company’s shares to slide in Hong Kong.
Sands China has witnessed a drop of 48 percent in share prices since the start of Beijing’s anti-corruption crackdown in June 2014. Even though the Hang Seng Index witnessed a 0.7 rise this week, the first quarter drop in profits caused share prices to fall by 4.9 percent and reach HK$29.05.
Sanford C Bernstein & Co LLC’s analysts have stated that Sands China has recorded a lower estimate because its non-gaming market segment has not kicked in as poor hotel occupancy rates and lesser retail rental income have been poor contributors to the overall revenue. Sands China has plans to open its $2.7 billion Parisian Macao casino before the end of September this year and the casino has made provisions to focus on the non-gaming side of the business.
In a statement, Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas Sands and Sands China Chairman, said “I don’t see that this is going to be permanent. When we open the Parisian I’m completely confident, more than confident. Everything is cyclical — we’ve been in Macau for 12 years now, and there have been times over the 12 years that people thought that the business was going down, and then it’s going to go up.”
Adelson continues to remain confident that Macau’s casino industry will turn around and highlighted the fact that mass market gamers in Macau have increased and will result in an increase in non-gaming spending since they have to eat and stay in Macau. Sands China has focused its effort on mass market gamblers in 2016 and has witnessed results by increasing its market share from 22.5 percent during the fourth quarter of 2015 to 23.3 percent in the first quarter of 2016.