* Dividend raised 40 pct to 35 cts/share starting in 2013
* Q3 net slips to $349.8 mln; rev up 12.5 pct at $2.7 bln
By Sue Zeidler
LOS ANGELES, Nov 1 Las Vegas Sands Corp,
owned by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, on Thursday posted lower
earnings amid challenges at its Singapore operations and higher
costs for properties in Macau.
The casino company, operator of resorts like the Venetian
in Las Vegas, also on Thursday increased its quarterly dividend
by 40 percent to 35 cents per common share, beginning in the
first quarter of 2013.
Las Vegas Sands cited lower "hold" or money won from
gamblers at its Marina Bay Sands property in Singapore, where
operating income fell to $166.5 million from $315.4 million in
Overall, for the third quarter, Las Vegas Sands said net
income fell 1.1 percent to $349.8 million on revenues that rose
12.5 percent to $2.7 billion. This compared to net income of
$353.6 million a year ago. Earnings per share fell 4.5 percent
to 42 cents from 44 cents a share.
On an adjusted basis, the company said net income fell to
$382.2 million, or 46 cents a share, from $444.8 million or 55
cents per diluted share.
Analysts on average had expected adjusted earnings of 59
cents, or $507.61 million, on revenues of $2.9 billion.
For the past several years, explosive growth in Macau, the
only place in China where gambling is legal, have boosted Sands'
profits and helped offset stagnating trends in Las Vegas.
But growth there has been slower recently and casino
operators like MGM Resorts have cited the effects of
this slowdown on their operations in Asia.
Las Vegas Sands seemed to buck the trend in Macau, however.
"The VIP market out of China is reputedly slowing down in
Macau, although we are not experiencing that. But again, we have
a pretty big footprint in Macau," said Sands chairman Sheldon
Adelson on a conference call with analysts.
Sands China Ltd, the unit that operates several
casinos in Macau, reported revenues rose 36.7 percent to $1.64
billion. Net income rose 17.4 percent to $326.7 million.
Gambling revenues in October in Macau actually rose a
better-than-expected 3.2 percent to $3.5 billion, with the help
of a week-long holiday, but the outlook is still overshadowed by
slower growth in China which could weigh on revenues.
The casino giant is currently embroiled in a legal battle
and involving a former Macau casino executive that alleges
Adelson personally approved prostitution at his companies'
properties in the Chinese gambling enclave.