Wynn Resorts 1Q profit soars with resort in Macau

AP News
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Posted: Apr 19, 2011 7:19 PM
Wynn Resorts 1Q profit soars with resort in Macau

Casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd.'s first-quarter net income rose more than six-fold as its revenue climbed 39 percent, thanks to a new resort opening in Macau and to the company winning more at table games in Las Vegas, the company said Tuesday.

Both Wynn's revenue and profit beat analysts' forecasts, and its shares rose after hours.

Wynn said it earned $174 million, or $1.39 per share, for the period that ended March 31, compared with $27 million, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier.

Quarterly revenue at the Las Vegas company run by billionaire CEO Steve Wynn was $1.26 billion, up from $909 million a year earlier.

Analysts forecast adjusted earnings of 72 cents per share and $1.15 billion in revenue, according to FactSet. Wynn said its net income was $1.38 per share, adjusted to exclude less than $500,000 in net one-time costs.

Revenue rose 47 percent in Macau, helped by Wynn's newest hotel and casino, Encore at Wynn Macau, a 410-suite addition that opened in April last year. The development was not part of the company's results in 2010.

In Las Vegas, Wynn's revenue rose 24 percent. Steve Wynn said in a conference call with investors that the company got luckier than expected at table games there. He also said people spending more on table games and on all the company's offerings led it raise room rates during the first quarter.

Since it opened in December 2008, the company's Encore casino in Las Vegas has boosted the company's revenue in Sin City, but not to the degree one would expect of a new property with about 90 table games and 800 slot machines. But Wynn's revenue growth, built on catering to high-end gamblers willing to spend on fine dining and expensive retail, may be starting to accelerate.

The company said its table games win percentage was 30.4 percent for the quarter, well above its expected range of 21 percent to 24 percent. And the amount of money that visitors cashed in for chips to play at Wynn's tables rose 13.8 percent to $634 million.

The company's non-gambling revenue in Las Vegas was $249 million, up 10.8 percent. Average room rates rose 18.2 percent to $240, and the company's occupancy rate was 87.9 percent.

The company said it had $1.4 billion in cash and $3.2 billion in debt as of March 31.

Wynn said on the conference call that the company's board on Monday approved a cash dividend of 50 cents per common share.

Shares of Wynn rose $3.97, or 2.9 percent, in aftermarket trading, recovering what they lost in regular trading Tuesday, when they fell $1.57, or 1.1 percent, to close at $138.93.