UPDATE 1-Cost controls help Wynn Resorts beat Wall Street estimates

Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:20pm EDT

* Q1 EPS $2.03 vs est. $1.55

* Q1 rev $1.38 billion, meeting estimates

* Operating margin 24.2 pct vs 19.8 pct

April 25 (Reuters) - Wynn Resorts Ltd posted a first-quarter profit that handily beat Wall Street expectations as operating margins got a boost from a drop in general and administrative expenses and entertainment and retail costs.

Wynn's Macau casino operations, which account for more than 70 percent of the company's total revenue, also showed an improvement after underperforming in recent quarters.

Revenue from Macau rose 4.4 percent to $992.1 million after falling 9.7 percent in the fourth quarter.

Gambling revenue in the Chinese territory rose 25.4 percent to $3.92 billion in March from a year earlier, according to Macau government data. Revenue in February also rose, thanks largely to the week-long Chinese new year holiday.

Wynn's total revenue -- including a 6.6 percent increase $386.6 million from Las Vegas -- rose about 5 percent to $1.38 billion, matching the average analyst forecast.

Net income rose to $203.0 million, or $2.00 per share from $140.6 million, or $1.23 per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, net income rose to $205.6 million, or $2.03 per share, from $151.9 million, or $1.33 per share.

Analysts had expected earnings $1.55 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company's operating margin in the quarter improved to 24.2 percent from 19.8 percent a year earlier.

Wynn's shares, which have risen about 17 percent this year, closed at $134.91 on the Nasdaq on Thursday.

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