February 25, 2010 / 9:35 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 2-Wynn Resorts 4th-qtr net loss narrows

* Q4 adj EPS 8 cents vs analyst estimate 6 cents

* Q4 revenue $809.3 million

* Philadelphia waterfront casino will be 3 stories, no hotel

* Encore Macau to open April 24

(Adds analyst and company comment, Harrah’s results, share price, byline)

By Deena Beasley

NEW YORK, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd (WYNN.O) said on Thursday its quarterly net loss narrowed, helped by a 36 percent jump in Macau revenue and a full-quarter contribution from its second Las Vegas resort.

Chief Executive Steve Wynn said he is optimistic about continued growth in Macau, where the company will open a second property on April 24, but he has a dim outlook for Las Vegas given new luxury competition from MGM Mirage’s (MGM.N) 6,000-room CityCenter.

“Unlike some of our (Las Vegas) competitors who have seen all kinds of glitter and wonderment just around the corner, I think everybody has sort of come clean now that we don’t see that,” Wynn said on a conference call with analysts and investors.

Privately held Harrah’s Entertainment Inc [HAMLEH.UL], the world’s largest casino operator in terms of revenue, said on Thursday that its fourth-quarter Las Vegas revenue fell 10 percent to $649.2 million.

Wynn, which last October raised $1.8 billion via a Hong Kong listing of shares in Wynn Macau Ltd (1128.HK), reported a quarterly net loss of $5.2 million, or 4 cents per share, compared with a year-earlier net loss of $159.6 million, or $1.49 per share.

Adjusted for property charges and other items, the Las Vegas-based company posted a profit of 8 cents per share, which beat the average analyst estimate of 6 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

“It was a good quarter — solid performance in Macau,” said Gabelli & Co analyst Amit Kapoor. “Wynn is a story of keeping the balance sheet very strong so that they can survive this downturn.”

Wynn’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to $196.8 million from $127.5 million.

Quarterly net revenue rose to $809.3 million from $614.3 million. Analysts had expected $784.7 million.

Wynn announced earlier this week plans to partner with local developers for a casino project along the Philadelphia waterfront.

“It’s not going to be a hotel,” Wynn said. “It’s going to be the cutest casino you have ever seen ... and it’s going to have all the bells and whistles that a good-looking, fun, casino-restaurant complex with slot machines and table games and other forms of fun should have.”

He declined to comment on development costs, but said the property will be just three stories high.

“The returns are handsome — much better than we can get in Las Vegas at the present moment,” Wynn said.

The company currently operates two casino-resorts in Las Vegas and one in Macau, the only place in China where gambling is legal.

Wynn’s shares, which closed on Nasdaq at $62.80, were slightly lower at $62.30 in after-hours trading. (Reporting by Deena Beasley; editing by Carol Bishopric, Phil Berlowitz)

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