... as a virgin, hyper-growth gaming geography, it's hard to imagine turning one's company into a high-dividend, ultra-conservative company...
... at such a historically transitional time as this.
Wynn does a lot of things well but beyond his strengths, there are the same deficiencies that led to his loss of control over Mirage resorts so many years ago. In those days, he sidetracked the company in many ways that didn't contribute to a robust future for Mirage. Jettisoning crucial investment capital (via big dividends) during a pivotal time when investment capital has such international ROI potential is a similar mistake, IMO.
I know... It's almost like he's going to bail out soon and is taking his profits now while there's only a 15% tax on dividends. It's the only logic I can see for what appears to be irrational behavior going forward. (Maybe he's tired of the game?) I actually don't see it as maximizing shareholder value. I see it as wasted opportunity for growth with low cost money.
Smart people borrow when money is cheap, if they can so their investment pays off when money is not so cheap... and now it's as cheap as it ever gets. Rates are low and the payback would be with a depreciating asset as far as buying power (dollars) and perhaps with an appreciating asset (Yuans via MOP).
... if you want a good example of borrowing cheap and concentrating equtiy (opposite of dilution), check out DirecTV (DTV)...
... that company is borrowing very large sums at around 5% and buying back stock in a big way.
DTV is also growing nicely in latin america.
I don't own it yet but it's near the top of my track list and would have been purchased if not for CLWR's swoon back under 5 bucks. It's not exactly "contrarian" (except for some supression due to NFL strike uncertainty) but the borrow/buyback strategy is a deft, opportunistic move that takes full advantage of their credit score.