Casino-resort developer and operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. said Thursday that its third-quarter net income doubled from a year earlier as it kept a tight rein on operating expenses.
A 26.2 percent increase in revenue also helped _ including a 63 percent jump in Singapore, the company said.
Sands generates roughly 83 percent of its revenue in Asia and the rest in the United States.
The company's billionaire CEO, Sheldon Adelson, said the Marina Bay Sands casino in Singapore would have been even more profitable had it not gotten somewhat unlucky _ it won slightly less from gamblers than expected, given the amount customers wagered.
Sands' net income rose to $353.6 million, or 44 cents per share, from $168 million, or 21 cents per share, and its revenue rose to $2.41 billion from $1.9 billion.
"I like them apples," Adelson said during a conference call with analysts.
Excluding one-time items, Sands earned 55 cents per share, beating Wall Street's average estimate for adjusted earnings of 52 cents per share. Analysts expected revenue of $2.34 billion.
Sands shares rose $1.66, or 3.7 percent, after hours after ending regular trading up $1.93, or 4.4 percent, and closing at $45.40.
Adelson teased analysts who underestimated the company's Singapore business.
"Please keep an eye out for one of our egg-wiping face towels, which you should be receiving shortly," Adelson said.
He said the company will keep growing for several reasons, including the opening in about five months of the first phase of Sands Cotai Central in Macau in China, which will include 1,800 hotel rooms plus amenities and space for gambling.
The company's revenue in China rose 11.1 percent to $1.2 billion, compared with $1.08 billion during the third quarter last year. In Las Vegas, revenue rose 19.5 percent to $347.4 million. Revenue at the company's casino in Bethlehem, Pa., rose 28.9 percent to $106.7 million.
Operating expenses increased much more slowly, rising about 17 percent from a year ago.
Sands said it had $3.95 billion in unrestricted cash and $9.74 billion in outstanding debt as of Sept. 31.
When asked what the company might do with the cash, Adelson said the shareholders in his family might push for a dividend _ which he could use to buy another plane or boat _ and that the company is considering opportunities to expand further in Asia and the United States.
Adelson said he was most interested in Korea or Japan.
"Everybody knows that we are the most probable winner of any competition out there, but it all depends where and when," he said.
Oskar Garcia can be reached at http://twitter.com/oskargarcia