Last quarter, LVS's earnings per share was $0.54. The aggregate estimate for this quarter is $0.66.
Hypothetically, if everything about THIS (Q1) quarter was to come out exactly like LAST quarter (Q4) except for one single difference... the EPS for this quarter would indeed match the $0.66 aggregate estimate... based on just that one single thing alone.
That one single difference is: That Marina Bay Sands produce exactly the same gaming volumes this quarter as they did last quarter... except that their "table hold" (eg: "luck") would be NORMAL.
That one, single difference would increase LVS's EPS from the 4th quarter's 54 cents to Q1's estimated EPS of 66 cents. That's big... MBS had the worst luck in it's operating history last quarter.
Of course, we all know that a LOT of other things have been going on besides the state of Marina Bay's luck. Trains, sky-bridges, new tables and hotel rooms, record SAR gaming revenues in March, etc. Anything that those items might contribute would make a difference.
But I'm posting this because I don't think very many people... especially columnists... fully grasp just how much of an impact MBS's bad luck had last quarter. That's why estimating LVS earnings can be so hard... a bunch of luck one way or another can really impact the number.
Well, if you were to walk into a casino right now and sit down at a 6-deck blackjack game where the dealer hits soft 17s, allows doubling after splits, and allows re-splitting of aces, you would have exactly a 0.56% mathematical disadvantage to the house if you played perfect basic strategy.
That said, you could just as easily win $960 after a couple hours of play as you could lose $1,040.
How do you know in advance what you will win or lose? You don't. You just know that if you end up playing "normal"... that you'll lose a little... an amount that corresponds to your 0.56% disadvantage to the house.
A casino has FAR less "standard deviation" around the mean, 0.56% "expected value" than an individual player has, because the casino experiences a FAR greater sized sample.
But Marina Bay Sands has a much BROADER standard distribution of probably outcomes (eg: the bell shaped curve) than other resorts because it's gamblers are dominated by a small number of very big VIP bettors. Thus, the huge spate of bad luck in Q4 was more possible for them than it would be at any of Sand's Macau resorts, where the sample of bettors is much greater and the standard deviation is a smaller variance.
Hope this helps... but the answer is, you won't know until the Q1 conference call what their luck was.
Remember that Sand's macau market share is NOT hold-adjusted... thus, it can be off by quite a bit from month to month simply due to luck.