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Las Vegas Sands Reports Second Quarter 2018 Results

George Miller

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Las Vegas Sands Reports Second Quarter 2018 Results
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Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS), the world’s leading developer and operator of convention-based Integrated Resorts, reported financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2018.

Second Quarter Overview

Mr. Sheldon G. Adelson, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “We are pleased to have delivered strong financial results in the quarter, led by robust growth in Macao, where every property in our portfolio delivered growth and adjusted property EBITDA reached $750 million, an increase of 25% compared to the second quarter of 2017. While lower Rolling Chip volume and win percentage compared to the year ago quarter impacted our results at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, the power of our unique convention-based Integrated Resort business model remains evident in our financial performance, with Singapore delivering $368 million of adjusted property EBITDA and Las Vegas performing well despite lower than expected hold on table games play. We also continue to invest in growth initiatives in each of our markets while returning excess capital to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.”

The company paid a recurring quarterly dividend of $0.75 per common share during the quarter. The company announced that its next quarterly dividend of $0.75 per common share will be paid on September 27, 2018, to Las Vegas Sands shareholders of record on September 19, 2018. In addition, the company repurchased $100 million of common stock (1.3 million shares at a weighted average price of $79.76) during the quarter ended June 30, 2018.
Company-Wide Operating Results

Net revenue for the second quarter of 2018 increased 6.2% to $3.30 billion, compared to $3.11 billion in the second quarter of 2017. Net income increased 5.8% to $676 million in the second quarter of 2018, compared to $639 million in the year-ago quarter.
Effective January 1, 2018, the Company adopted the new revenue recognition standard on a full retrospective basis. The adoption of this standard did not have a material impact on the Company’s financial condition or net income. All 2017 financial results have been revised to conform to the current presentation.
On a GAAP (accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America) basis, operating income in the second quarter of 2018 decreased 2.4% to $797 million, compared to $817 million in the second quarter of 2017. The decrease in operating income was primarily due to softer rolling volume and win percentage in Singapore and a $92 million write-off of costs related to the tower adjacent to the Four Seasons Macao. These items were offset by stronger operating performance in our Macao business due to an 18% increase in revenues and the impact of a change in our depreciable lives during the third quarter of 2017, as discussed further below. Consolidated adjusted property EBITDA (a non-GAAP measure) of $1.23 billion increased 1.4% in the second quarter of 2018, compared to the year-ago quarter. On a hold-normalized basis, consolidated adjusted property EBITDA increased 11.6% to $1.23 billion in the second quarter of 2018.
On a GAAP basis, net income attributable to Las Vegas Sands in the second quarter of 2018 increased 1.8% to $556 million, compared to $546 million in the second quarter of 2017, while diluted earnings per share in the second quarter of 2018 of $0.70 represented an increase of 1.4% compared to the prior-year quarter. In addition to the factors described above, the increase in net income attributable to Las Vegas Sands reflected increases in other income (expense), partially offset by the increase in net income attributable to noncontrolling interests.
Adjusted net income attributable to Las Vegas Sands (a non-GAAP measure) increased 1.9% to $588 million, or $0.74 per diluted share, compared to $577 million, or $0.73 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2017. Hold-normalized adjusted earnings per diluted share increased 22.6% to $0.76.

Sands China Ltd. Consolidated Financial Results

On a GAAP basis, total net revenues for Sands China Ltd. (SCL) increased 18% to $2.11 billion in the second quarter of 2018, compared to $1.79 billion in the second quarter of 2017. Net income for SCL increased 30% to $427 million in the second quarter of 2018, compared to $328 million in the second quarter of 2017.

Other Factors Affecting Earnings
Depreciation and amortization expense was $274 million in the second quarter of 2018, compared to $327 million in the second quarter of 2017. This decrease was driven primarily by a change in the estimated useful lives of our buildings, building improvements and land improvements accounted for as a change in accounting estimate beginning on July 1, 2017, and resulted in a reduction of depreciation and amortization expense and an increase in operating income of $64 million, and an increase of net income attributable to Las Vegas Sands of $47 million, or earnings per share of $0.06 on a basic and diluted basis, in the second quarter of 2018.
Interest expense, net of amounts capitalized, was $93 million for the second quarter of 2018, compared to $79 million in the prior-year quarter. Our weighted average borrowing cost in the second quarter of 2018 was approximately 3.5%, compared to 3.0% during the second quarter of 2017.
Other income, which was comprised primarily of foreign currency gains due to an appreciation of the U.S. dollar versus the Singapore dollar during the period, was $44 million for the second quarter of 2018, compared to other expense of $25 million in the second quarter of 2017.
Our effective income tax rate for the second quarter of 2018 was 10.7% compared to 10.9% in the prior-year quarter. The tax rate for the second quarter of 2018 is primarily driven by a provision for the earnings from Marina Bay Sands at the 17% Singapore income tax rate and a provision for our domestic earnings at the 21% corporate income tax rate based on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”). The Act creates complexity that will likely require implementation guidance from the Internal Revenue Service and could impact our tax return filing positions, which may impact the estimates and assumptions utilized in our initial analysis.
The net income attributable to noncontrolling interests during the second quarter of 2018 of $120 million was principally related to SCL.

Balance Sheet Items

Unrestricted cash balances as of June 30, 2018 were $4.35 billion.

As of June 30, 2018, total debt outstanding, including the current portion and net of deferred financing costs (excluding those costs related to our revolving facilities) and original issue discount, was $11.32 billion.

Capital Expenditures
Capital expenditures during the second quarter totaled $178 million, including construction, development and maintenance activities of $95 million in Macao, $37 million in Las Vegas, $37 million at Marina Bay Sands and $9 million at Sands Bethlehem.

Conference Call Information
The company will host a conference call to discuss the company’s results on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Interested parties may listen to the conference call through a webcast available on the company’s website at www.sands.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties or other factors beyond the company’s control, which may cause material differences in actual results, performance or other expectations. These factors include, but are not limited to, general economic conditions, competition, new development, construction and ventures, substantial leverage and debt service, fluctuations in currency exchange rates and interest rates, government regulation, tax law changes and the impact of U.S. tax reform, legalization of gaming, natural or man-made disasters, terrorist acts or war, outbreaks of infectious diseases, insurance, gaming promoters, risks relating to our gaming licenses, certificate and subconcession, infrastructure in Macao, our subsidiaries’ ability to make distribution payments to us, and other factors detailed in the reports filed by Las Vegas Sands Corp. with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date thereof. Las Vegas Sands Corp. assumes no obligation to update such information.

About Las Vegas Sands Corp.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) is the world’s pre-eminent developer and operator of world-class Integrated Resorts that feature luxury hotels; best-in-class gaming; retail; dining and entertainment; Meetings, Incentives, Convention and Exhibition (MICE) facilities; and many other leisure and business amenities. We pioneered the MICE-driven Integrated Resort, a unique, industry-leading and extremely successful model that serves both the leisure and business tourism markets.
Our properties include The Venetian and The Palazzo resorts and Sands Expo in Las Vegas, Sands Bethlehem in Eastern Pennsylvania, and the iconic Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Through majority ownership in Sands China Ltd., LVS owns a portfolio of properties on the Cotai Strip in Macao, including The Venetian Macao, The Plaza and Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Sands Cotai Central and The Parisian Macao, as well as the Sands Macao on the Macao Peninsula.
LVS is dedicated to being a good corporate citizen, anchored by the core tenets of delivering a great working environment for 50,000 team members worldwide, driving impact through its Sands Cares corporate giving program and leading innovation with the company’s award-winning Sands ECO360 global sustainability program. To learn more, please visit www.sands.com.

Non-GAAP Measures
Within the company’s second quarter 2018 press release, the company makes reference to certain non-GAAP financial measures that supplement the company’s consolidated financial information prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) including “adjusted net income,” “adjusted earnings per diluted share,” and “consolidated adjusted property EBITDA,” which have directly comparable GAAP financial measures along with “adjusted property EBITDA margin,” “hold-normalized adjusted property EBITDA,” “hold-normalized adjusted property EBITDA margin,” “hold-normalized adjusted net income,” and “hold-normalized adjusted earnings per diluted share.” The company believes these measures represent important internal measures of financial performance. Set forth in the financial schedules accompanying this release are reconciliations of the non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures. The non-GAAP financial measure disclosure by the company has limitations and should not be considered a substitute for, or superior to, the financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. The definitions of our non-GAAP financial measures and the specific reasons why the company’s management believes the presentation of the non-GAAP financial measures provides useful information to investors regarding the company’s financial condition, results of operations and cash flows are presented below.

The following non-GAAP financial measures are used by management, as well as industry analysts, to evaluate the company’s operations and operating performance. These non-GAAP financial measures are presented so investors have the same financial data management uses in evaluating financial performance with the belief it will assist the investment community in properly assessing the underlying financial performance of the company on a year-over-year and a quarter sequential basis.
Adjusted net income, which is a non-GAAP financial measure, excludes certain non-recurring corporate expenses, pre-opening expense, development expense, gain or loss on disposal of assets, loss on modification or early retirement of debt and other income or expense, attributable to Las Vegas Sands, net of income tax and an adjustment for a nonrecurring non-cash benefit due to U.S. tax reform enacted in 2017. Adjusted net income and adjusted earnings per diluted share are presented as supplemental disclosures as management believes they are (1) each widely used measures of performance by industry analysts and investors and (2) a principal basis for valuation of Integrated Resort companies, as these non-GAAP measures are considered by many as alternative measures on which to base expectations for future results. These measures also form the basis of certain internal management performance expectations.
Consolidated adjusted property EBITDA, which is a non-GAAP financial measure, is net income before stock-based compensation expense, corporate expense, pre-opening expense, development expense, depreciation and amortization, amortization of leasehold interests in land, gain or loss on disposal of assets, interest, other income or expense, gain or loss on modification or early retirement of debt and income taxes. Management utilizes consolidated adjusted property EBITDA to compare the operating profitability of its operations with those of its competitors, as well as a basis for determining certain incentive compensation. Integrated Resort companies have historically reported adjusted property EBITDA as a supplemental performance measure to GAAP financial measures. In order to view the operations of their casinos on a more stand-alone basis, Integrated Resort companies, including Las Vegas Sands, have historically excluded certain expenses that do not relate to the management of specific properties, such as pre-opening expense, development expense and corporate expense, from their adjusted property EBITDA calculations. Consolidated adjusted property EBITDA should not be interpreted as an alternative to income from operations (as an indicator of operating performance) or to cash flows from operations (as a measure of liquidity), in each case, as determined in accordance with GAAP. The company has significant uses of cash flow, including capital expenditures, dividend payments, interest payments, debt principal payments and income tax payments, which are not reflected in consolidated adjusted property EBITDA. Not all companies calculate adjusted property EBITDA in the same manner. As a result, consolidated adjusted property EBITDA as presented by Las Vegas Sands may not be directly comparable to similarly titled measures presented by other companies.
Hold-normalized adjusted property EBITDA, a supplemental non-GAAP financial measure, that, in addition to the aforementioned reasons for the presentation of consolidated adjusted property EBITDA, is presented to adjust for the impact of certain variances in table games’ win percentages, which can vary from period to period. Hold-normalized adjusted property EBITDA is based on applying a Rolling Chip win percentage of 3.15% to the Rolling Chip volume for the quarter if the actual win percentage is outside the expected range of 3.0% to 3.3% for our Macao properties, applying a Rolling Chip win percentage of 2.85% to the Rolling Chip volume for the quarter if the actual win percentage is outside the expected range of 2.7% to 3.0% for our Singapore property, and applying a win percentage of 22.0% for Baccarat and 20.0% for non-Baccarat games to the respective table games drops for the quarter if the actual win percentages are outside the expected ranges of 18.0% to 26.0% for Baccarat and 16.0% to 24.0% for non-Baccarat at our Las Vegas properties. No hold adjustments are made for Sands Bethlehem. We do not present adjustments for Non-Rolling Chip drop for our table games play at our Macao and Singapore properties, nor for slots at any of our properties. Hold-normalized adjusted property EBITDA is also adjusted for the estimated gaming taxes, commissions paid to third parties on the incremental win, bad debt expense, discounts and other incentives that would have been incurred when applying the win percentages noted above to the respective gaming volumes. The hold-normalized adjusted property EBITDA measure presents a consistent measure for evaluating the operating performance of our properties from period to period.

Hold-normalized adjusted net income and hold-normalized adjusted earnings per diluted share are additional supplemental non-GAAP financial measures that, in addition to the aforementioned reasons for the presentation of adjusted net income and adjusted earnings per diluted share, are presented to adjust for the impact of certain variances in table games’ win percentages, which can vary from period to period.

The company may also present the above items on a constant currency basis. This information is a non-GAAP financial measure that is calculated by translating current quarter local currency amounts to U.S. dollars based on prior period exchange rates. These amounts are compared to the prior period to derive non-GAAP constant-currency growth/decline. Management considers non-GAAP constant-currency growth/decline to be a useful metric to investors and management as it allows a more direct comparison of current performance to historical performance.

The company also makes reference to adjusted property EBITDA margin and hold-normalized adjusted property EBITDA margin, which are calculated using the aforementioned non-GAAP financial measures.

Asia

Study Confirms High Rollers Gambled in Macau Despite COVID-19

Niji Narayan

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Study Confirms High Rollers Gambled in Macau Despite COVID-19
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A new study released by the Macau Research Centre has found that 60% of those who visited Macau during the COVID-19 pandemic did so for gambling, with each willing to spend around MOP$87,000 on average.

The research centre surveyed 103 visitors between March and May, of which 93.2% were from mainland China. With the threat of a 14-day quarantine upon leaving Macau, research showed those mainlanders chose to stay longer, with an average stay of 6.7 days. Around 59% stayed for more than five days.

The study also found that 59% of those surveyed visited Macau for gaming, while 87% had conducted gaming activities. Their gaming budget ranged from MOP$1,000 to MOP$500,000, with an average of MOP$87,000.

“Compared to the mass market, the spending decisions of this group of high-end customers may be less influenced by macroeconomic and social sentiment,” the study said.

Moreover, the visitors spent another MOP$45,549 during their visits on average, mostly on dining, shopping and hospitality.

The study also found the arrivals had visited Macau an average of 5.8 times in the last 12 months, while 83% of them had visited Macau at least three times in the last 12 months.

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Asia

Macau Gambling King Stanley Ho Dies at 98

Niji Narayan

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Macau Gambling King Stanley Ho Dies at 98
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Macau casino king Stanley Ho has died on Tuesday (May 26) at the age of 98. He was known as the godfather of Macau casinos and was instrumental in turning Macau into a gambling boomtown.

The flamboyant tycoon, who loved to dance but advised his nearest and dearest to shun gambling, headed one of the world’s most lucrative gaming businesses through his flagship firm, SJM Holdings Ltd, valued at about US$6 billion.

Ho spearheaded what is known in Macau as the junket VIP system, whereby middlemen act on behalf of casinos by extending credit to gamblers and taking responsibility for collecting debts.

Some of Ho’s children have become successful gaming operators in their own right. Daughter Pansy is the co-chairperson of MGM Resorts’ Macau unit while son Lawrence runs Melco Resorts & Entertainment.

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Asia

Asia Pioneer Entertainment Terminates Two Lease Agreements

Niji Narayan

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Asia Pioneer Entertainment Terminates Two Lease Agreements
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Asia Pioneer Entertainment (APE), the Macau-based slot machine agent, has terminated two finance lease agreements for the leasing of electronic gaming equipment (EGE). The agreements were terminated after Siam Star Leisure and GLIMEX failed to pay lease rental of around HK$17 million and HK$9 million, respectively.

APE said the group is now expected to write off the HK$26 million finance lease receivables from its 1H20 accounts and has demanded the return of the leased equipment.

Under the terms of the lease agreements, both signed in December 2018, APE has the right to terminate “without the need for any notice or demand” if the lessees fail to make any payment for equipment rental by the due date.

“The Company intends to identify new lessees for the EGE in Macau or other Southeast Asian countries,” APE said.

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