* Adj EPS $1.60 vs Street view $1.04
* Net revenue rises 32.4 pct to $1.37 billion
* Shares rise 2 percent in extended trade (Adds details on Las Vegas, Macau performance, executive and analyst comments, updates share price)
By Mary Slosson
LOS ANGELES, July 18 (Reuters) - Wynn Resorts Ltd (WYNN.O) posted second-quarter profit and revenue that handily topped Wall Street estimates as revenue at its Wynn Macau (1128.HK) unit soared 36.7 percent and business in Las Vegas improved.
Driven by robust demand from mainland Chinese, gambling revenue in Macau, the only place in China where gambling is legal, surged 52 percent in June from a year earlier, according to government statistics.
“They had stupendous results in both Macau and Vegas,” said Janet Brashear, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. “Vegas is the biggest surprise,” she said, with earnings “a lot more solid for the balance of the year than we might have expected.”
Adjusting for one-time items, Wynn earned $200.8 million, or $1.60 per share, beating analysts’ average forecast of $1.04 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
In the same period last year, Wynn earned $64.9 million, or 52 cents per share.
Wynn operates two casino-resorts in Las Vegas and two in Macau, where it is poised to begin construction on a third property on the Cotai Strip, pending final government clearance.
Analysts were keen to learn a specific timeline on construction of the Cotai property, which Chief Executive Steve Wynn said on a conference call would boast 500 game tables, 1500 rooms, mostly suites, restaurants and stores, and a theater.
“We’re moving right along nicely and on schedule,” said Wynn. “This project is going to justify the time it took to create it. It’s a humdinger.”
Quarterly net revenue rose 32.4 percent to $1.37 billion from $1.03 billion last year. Analysts, on average, had expected $1.27 billion.
Wynn’s revenue in Las Vegas rose 22.8 percent to $390.8 millon. Adjusted property earnings rose 103.7 percent to $132.7 million. The rise was due to higher margins “really across the board,” CFO Matt Maddox said on the call, including in gambling revenue, VIP services, and non-gaming segments including nightclubs, catering, and restaurants.
The company’s Macau revenue climbed 36.7 percent to $976.5 million, while property earnings rose 45.4 percent to $314.3 million in the second quarter.
Shareholders may see another special dividend at the end of the year, said Brashear.
“We are always looking for opportunities to distribute money to our shareholders,” said Wynn.
Shares of Wynn, which closed at $164.89 on the Nasdaq. rose 2 percent to $168.27 in extended trade after the announcement. The shares have risen 59 percent so far this year.