By Sue Zeidler
LOS ANGELES May 1 Casino operator Las Vegas
Sands Corp, owned by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, on
Wednesday posted better-than- expected first-quarter earnings,
helped by good results in Macau and Singapore, and its shares
Sands said first-quarter net revenue rose 19.5 percent to
$3.3 billion, net income rose 14.6 percent to $572.0 million and
earnings per share rose 13.1 percent to 69 cents a share.
On an adjusted basis, earnings rose to 71 cents from 70
cents a share. Analysts, on average, had expected Sands to post
adjusted earnings of 66 cents, according to estimates compiled
by ThomsonReuters I/B/E/s.
The company's stock was up nearly 1 percent at $56.65 a
share in after hours trading from its close of $56.25 on
"For me the big surprise was Singapore and its VIP business,
which was very strong," said John Kempf, an analyst with RBC
The company said rolling chip volume, or betting volume by
VIP players, at its Marina Bay Sands in Singapore rose 42.2
percent to $18.21 billion in the quarter, the highest quarterly
volume in the property's history.
According to analysts, Singapore is the second biggest value
driver for the company after Macau.
But some analysts are cautious about the region because of a
sluggish Singapore economy and moves by the government to impose
stricter regulations for casino operators to minimize the social
costs that often plague casino gaming cities.
Sands, operator of the Venetian in Las Vegas, said its Sands
China Ltd Hong Kong listed unit and Macau casino
operator, saw net income increase 63.3 percent to $452.9 million
in the first quarter.
Revenue rose 39.3 percent to $2.02 billion in the quarter.
Las Vegas Sands Corp said last week that accounting firm
PricewaterhouseCoopers will not stand for re-election as the
company's auditor, ending a 25-year relationship with Sands
founder and chairman Adelson. Sands and the accounting firm said
the decision to part ways was not motivated by any disagreements
over financial statements or disclosures.
Sands said it had nothing to do with disclosures the company
made in previous financial statements that it received federal
subpoenas requesting information on its compliance with
reporting requirements of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Adelson in early April testified in a retrial currently
underway in Las Vegas of a lawsuit filed by Hong Kong
businessman Richard Suen, who alleges the Las Vegas company
never paid him an agreed "success fee" for helping secure a
permit for a hotel and casino in Macau.