First Look: They met the whisper, hold-adjusted. Any Strength is Under the Radar
My estimate was a hold adjusted 74 cents, which they missed by 2 cents.
Goldstein is right... page 11 on the slide was awesome. The question I have about that slide is... how much of it was spiraling table minimums industry-wide, and how much of it was the company improving the per-table productivity of mass market tables?
It's great that they bought back $46 million worth of stock in Q2, but diluted shares outstanding actually increased from Q1 to Q2 from 827.45 million shares to 827.90 million shares... and that's the only metric that counts in THAT department.
The company has played unlucky pretty regularly over the past year. Don't worry about it... it happens... and it's not indicative of a paradigm shift of the "definition of luck".
Re: luck... I've experienced the exact same trends over 15 years of counting cards in the game of blackjack. From 2005 to 2007, I experienced a rough 2 years where my career winnings didn't hit a new high, and I was down as much as 14% from my previous career high at the worst point. During that time, I pushed my spreads on double-deck games so hard in vegas that I got backed-off or barred from play more than a dozen times over an 8 month period... to no avail.... my luck was horrible.
I look back on those years from a far higher perch, earnings wise, but it did challenge my faith in the subject of "normalization" at the time. Similarly, LVS will again have solid quarters borne out of luck in the future, but we have to remember that luck can run bad for a good stretch of time sometimes...
... and that's normal.
More later or tomorrow when the dust settles and the day is less busy.
Taxx is right. 74 cents was my hold-adjusted estimate.
The hold adjusted number is the only one with any meaning... for the same reason they focus on "same store sales" in the retail industry.
If you look at slide # 21 in the conference call presentation, you can see how normalization boiled down in every LVS geography and over 5, full quarters. LVS has played unlucky in every one of them. Just out of sight in that table is Q1 of 2012, which was the last time they played lucky corporate-wide... and they played VERY lucky that quarter in earning 70 cents a share.
I saw an article today that talked about LVS's Las Vegas operations as being very disappointing... whereas on a hold-adjusted basis, LVS's vegas properties delivered the highest EBITDA that they've seen in 5 quarters.
I'm not making excuses... I had higher hopes for this quarter. I'm still not seeing the progress I expect in VIP given the sizable effort there... and there was no mention of the 18 tables that were still idle pending completion of suite remodeling in Q1. Their mass market efforts are very solid, however... except that it's difficult to dete.
In my post above, I questioned how much of their solid gains in mass were theirs VS the exploding table minimums we're seeing industry wide...
... well, slide #12 does a pretty good job of answering that question. Very impressive slide that I doubt the average after-market trader is looking at nearly as hard as I'm looking at it.