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MGM Mirage, Sands Corp Report Earnings

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
May/05/2010

MGM Mirage released earnings for the first quarter of 2010 prior to the Stock Market opening Thursday morning. 

MGM Mirage said in a preliminary report that writing down the value of its $8.5 billion CityCenter joint venture for a second time produced a loss of approximately $96.7 million.

MGM on Thursday morning reported it swung to a first-quarter loss of $96.7 million, or 22 cents a share, from net income of $105.2 million, or 38 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue fell to $1.46 billion, from $1.5 billion. Wall Street analysts expected a loss of 24 cents a share, according to a survey by FactSet Research. In the latest quarter, MGM booked a gain of 21 cents a share, from extinguishment of debt, and a pre-tax non-cash charge of 13 cents a share for an impairment at its CityCenter project for residential inventory. 

"We see signs of improvement in the Las Vegas market and expect those to accelerate in the second half of the year and into 2011," the company said.

The Las Vegas Sands was expected to report later in the day on Thursday.

Investors will be looking, not only at the company's performance in Las Vegas, but also at how the Sands Corp fared in gambling rich Macau.

And then there is Singapore, where Sands has opened its newest resort, the Marina Bay Sands. Analyst Mark Strawn of Morgan Stanley & Co. told investors when the casino opened that he expects the Singapore gambling market to grow slowly as Sands phases in its offerings.

"Investors may be underestimating Marina Bay Sands' margin potential and the Singapore market overall," he said.

At $5.7 billion, Marina Bay Sands is the world's second biggest casino development behind the $8.5 billion CityCenter in Las Vegas, the joint venture of Sands competitor MGM Mirage and Dubai World.

Sands is already strong in Macau, where gamblers average higher wagers than in Las Vegas and other gambling markets. Billionaire CEO Sheldon Adelson has said there's room in Asia for five to 10 gambling enclaves the size of Las Vegas.

The Singapore gambling market is likely to generate $4 billion according to Strawn.

---
Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com 

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