Wynn's 4th-qtr Profit Up 67 Pct As Revenue Climbs

Published February 3, 2012 2:00AM (EST)

Wynn Resorts Ltd. said Thursday that revenue growth in its Macau and Las Vegas casinos and a tax benefit helped drive profit up 67 percent in the last three months of 2011.

Much of the increase was due to a 9 percent jump in revenue at Wynn's properties in China, Wynn Macau and Wynn Encore Macau, which generate the majority of the casino operator's earnings. Customers spent $1.3 billion at its Macau slots, up 12 percent year-over-year. And the company made more than expected from both its VIP table and mass market table games.

In Las Vegas, revenue rose 7 percent to $348.4 million on a stronger take from table games and increased room, food and beverage and retail revenue. In Las Vegas, the company operates the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Las Vegas resorts.

CEO Steve Wynn said on a call with investors that Wynn's 2011 revenue in Las Vegas rebounded and topped pre-recession levels. But he noted that the company is feeling clear competitive pressure in Macau.

Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Sands Corp. owns the biggest casino in the Chinese gambling enclave, The Venetian Macau, as well as the Sands Macau. MGM Resorts also has a resort among the more than 30 casinos in the region.

Wynn's quarterly earnings rose to $190.5 million, or $1.52 per share, from $114.2 million, or 91 cents per share, in the 2010 period. Wynn Resorts Ltd. booked an income tax gain of about $31 million in the latest period when it took back money it had put in reserve; in contrast, it paid out $4.4 million for the line item a year earlier. Revenue climbed 9 percent to $1.34 billion from $1.24 billion.

Excluding one-time items, Wynn's net income totaled $1.55 per share, beating the average analyst forecast for $1.28 per share, according to FactSet. However, total revenue came in shy of the nearly $1.36 billion that analysts were expecting.

Analysts with UBS Investment Research said in a note to investors that Wynn's earnings would have been $1.23 per share if it hadn't benefited from emptying the tax reserve.

Citigroup analyst Anil Daswani pegged Wynn's adjusted earnings at $1.25 per share and said its growth in Macau was slowing because its market share shrank.

Wynn shares slid 3.3 percent, or $3.98, to $116.80 in extended trading. Before the results were released, the shares ended regular trading up $3.03 at $120.78.

Wynn is the world's third-largest casino company, as measured by revenue.

For all of 2011, Wynn earned $613.4 million, or $4.88 per share, on revenue of $5.27 billion, compared with net income of $160.1 million, or $1.29 per share, on revenue of $4.18 billion in 2010.

Analysts on average had forecast earnings of $5.32 per share and revenue of $5.29 billion for 2011, according to FactSet.

On Wednesday, Las Vegas Sands reported a 17 percent rise in fourth-quarter net income to $320.1 million as the company set an internal record for revenue; it said more people were gambling at its resorts in Macau and Singapore. Las Vegas Sands is the world's biggest casino company by revenue.

By Salon Staff

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