* Net profit rises 35.8 percent to $434.8 mln
* Adjusted EPS 54 cts, versus consensus 59 cts
* Company ups qtly dividend by 40 pct
* Cotai properties had record 11 mln visitors in quarter
LOS ANGELES, Jan 30 Casino operator Las Vegas
Sands Corp, owned by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, on
Wednesday posted lower-than- expected fourth-quarter earnings as
weak results in Las Vegas dampened a strong performance in Asia.
But revenues topped estimates and the company boosted its
quarterly dividend by 40 percent to 35 cents a share, helping to
drive shares of Sands up 3.8 percent in after-hours trade.
Morningstar analyst Chad Mollman said the shares also rose
on strong results at the company's Chinese and Singapore
properties. Asia represents the biggest segment of Sands'
Sands reported fourth-quarter net income rose to $434.8
million, while earnings per share rose 35.9 percent to 53 cents
from 39 cents a year earlier. Revenues rose 20.9 percent to
On an adjusted basis, the company posted earnings of 54
cents a share. Analysts on average had looked for earnings of 59
cents and revenue of $3.01 billion, according to Thomson Reuters
Profits at Las Vegas properties, which include the Venetian,
declined. Adjusted property earnings before interest
depreciation and amortization at Las Vegas operations fell 34.7
percent to $52.8 million.
Analysts said the company continues to be a market leader in
Asia. Sands cited improved results at its properties in the
Cotai Strip properties in Macau, the only place in China where
gambling is legal.
"They topped revenue forecasts and they're doing extremely
well in China, where the company continues to outperform the
overall market," said Mollman of Morningstar.
Middle-class, or "mass market," gamblers are refueling
growth in Macau. Sands said it had a record 11 million visitors
at its Cotai strip properties during the latest quarter.
Sands and rivals like Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts
International have ridden the wave of fast growth on the
back of high-stake "VIP" bettors there for the past few years,
helping to offset stagnation in Las Vegas.
But VIP bettors began scaling back in recent months amid a
Net income for the Sands China Ltd subsidiary rose 52.3
percent to $467.0 million.