For instance Melco PBL's has seen high rollers converging at its newly opened Crown Macau casino after cutting the junket operators a chunkier commission check on VIP gambling chip sales last December. While this secures turnover, the flip side is that it cuts into margins, as junket operators can take 40%-50% of casino earnings.
Galaxy Entertainment Group appears to be one of the casualties, as it reported a quarter-on-quarter fall in earnings last Friday. It plans to fight back with a new junket alliance and expanded "jumbo" VIP gaming operations.
Credit Suisse notes Las Vegas Sands raised its junket commission rate in February and cautions that rival Wynn Resorts Ltd. could be at risk from a junket defecting.
Early mover Sands Casino, part of the LVS group, should be in a better position to be loosen its purse strings, as its accounts reveal it long ago recouped the $400 million investment in the casino. It has now generated over a billion pre-tax dollars since 2004.
So far there seems little sign of these junket operators running into liquidity problems like the more illustrious names in prime brokerage world.
One of them, Dore Holdings , however, has seen its share price lose 70% despite receiving an outperform rating from Credit Suisse. Perhaps Macau is soaking up some of the hot money flows finding their way into China -- last week had officials of the State Information Centre complained there was US$80 billion of capital unaccounted for in the first quarter.
Still, given that this is an industry so dependent on leverage, it would be advisable to watch for any signs the credit squeeze might show up in Macau's gaming halls. And while gamblers might have plenty credit, casino operators face some other headwinds, such as rising costs, steep inflation and tighter liquidity.
Eventually the casino operators plan to diversify so their gaming revenue and junket businesses will be balanced by other revenues.
The Venetian is firmly focused on conferences, retail and entertainment as well as gambling, and another seven hotels and 20,000 hotel rooms are planned. This is at least handy for Hong Kong residents, who now at least get to see music acts that previously gave this region a wide berth.
There may be plenty of growth to come in Macau, but expect results that show the tide of gambling patacas aren't lifting all casino operators equally.
Macau's big spenders break new gambling records
7:00 PM EDT April 20, 2008
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- If there is a global credit crunch going on, no one told the gamblers in Macau who sent casino takings soaring 62% in the first quarter of the year to 29.8 billion patacas (US$3.8 billion).
This means Macau generated double the gaming revenues of casinos on the Las Vegas Strip in the first two months of the year, official statistics from both jurisdictions reveal.
Arriving in Macau today, the skyline of glitzy casinos that have sprouted along the waterfront certainly makes an instant impression, never mind the mega Venetian project in the adjoining Coati strip.
When the government deregulated the gaming industry in 2001, the biggest names globally threw their hats into the ring. Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynne -- to name a few -- all promised to build the boldest and brightest gambling palaces their egos and balance sheets would allow.
That they did, but competition in Macau has a different complexion than it does in Las Vegas, as here you're dealing with big money mainland gamblers. In Macau, the trump card is not the flashiest casino but he who has the junket operator in tow, bringing the high rollers in the door and lending them gambling chips.
Junket operators are the prime brokerage of these big spenders, who think nothing of dropping HK$10 million plus in a night. And under Macau's laws, casinos are prohibited from lending money directly to gamers.
What is surprising is the size of this so called 'VIP high roller' segment of the market. Latest figures show VIP baccarat again led expansion as casino winnings from high rollers soared almost 70% to 20.8 billion patacas, according to data released last week by Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. VIP baccarat makes up 73% of all casino revenues, up from 67% a year ago
But beneath these jaw-dropping numbers, competition for gamblers is heating up, and with that, casino margins are taking the strain.
A new Credit Suisse research report says junket operators who determine the casino allegiance of their high-rolling gamblers are increasingly key to changes in market share, and therefore to gaming turnover.
In upcoming results for the first quarter of 2008, the investment bank warned to expect plenty of positive and negative surprises as the latest junket deals shake up the market.
Most of the article is what has already been mentioned, however, it has been my contention since the beginning of COD construction that none of the analysts have fully valued the apartments (and the raising RE prices in Macau) into account.
Just a thought.
A-MAX has already signed the 9 largest junket operators under this program. This project is already on the begining stages of implementation. Secondary offerings in HK is not the same as in U.S. The deal did not get pulled. It got delayed due to lower than expected subscription. By next week, they will close the deal with over $250 Million. Much of the funding is for "multiplier" bets of which A-MAX doesn't participate in anyway.
By next Friday, the deal is done. quit being such scardie cats.
Let me educate you people:
The reason for the secondary offering was due to the fact that the window to raise money was closing quickly. If they had done another debt offering, they'd have to wait for audited numbers to come out which would take the offering will into '08 and delay COD's completion.
Also, by doing the secondary, they have more flexibility on sale of the apartments since it won't be held as collateral by the debt holders.
Why are you people buying stocks if you don't even bother doing any DD?!
The funny part of all this is it takes them thousands of dollars in advertisement to get on customer in the door and by not inspiring any confidence in this miserable company, the jackass is losing many customers everyday.
I see ads accelerate by Scottstrade, Ameritrade and Schwab.
They don't even know how many customers have already submitted their transfer papers to competing firms.
Yet only silence from this sh*t managent... F***ing crickets...
To all the stupid bastard board members:
Please fire each other. Soon. please.
At least something!!!
I can't imagine how this idiot doesn't realize there is no confidence in him or his company.
FNM and FRE gets hit by 25% and etrade goes down 13%???
What is the market pricing in? Bankrupcy? Caplin's stupidity?
Somebody fire this guy...
This idiot ran the stock all the way from $26 to now $4 going to $3 again.
Why is he not fired already? Subprime isn't even their business. This is utterly stupid.
And a week and change has passed and not even one fucking news release about anything.
Only a bunch of fucking ads says we're not going out of business.
That is so comforting Mr. Caplin. Now kindly go fuck yourself you incompetent sorry excuse for a CEO.
ok... I give up. Where is this article?
Are you talking about the article that came out about a month ago (which was not a cover story) or something coming out this week?
Please provide link.
Why do you want to make fun of other people's misery.
This is very sad for people who own this stock and just realized their whole investment is completely gone.
I am not a long or short in this stock but I have vivid memories of the tech meltdown in 2000. It's a horrible feeling.
If you're short and have made money, then good for you. Enjoy your profits but have some sympathy for the people who are perhaps not very savvy financially and have lost all their investments.
It's just not funny.
This is the same firm that downdgraded IMMR in May of '06 because i didn't think Sony will pay royalies to Immersion.
This morning's "Sell" rating is the only ratings change from the May '06 downgrade to "hold", which means if I had listened to Weisel, I'd never be in the stock in the first place.
Make up your own minds...
I'm not sure if this is actually happening but if you read the bio of Jack Saltich a current IMMR director, he was a 17 year employee of MOT and Motorola's vice president and director of the company�s Advanced Product Research.
Seems to add up.
VIP "facilities" as in VIP and Presidential Suites. The support system has to be in place before you can gauge the business.
This is from Karen Tang, Deutsche Bank's gaming analyst:
"Over the opening weekend, Crown had won the battle against its disadvantaged location [on the outskirts of town], as the mass gaming floors were as busy as Sands and Wynn," Ms Tang said. "But Crown prides itself to be a six-star property. So we feel it should be judged on its VIP strength."
As for VIP business, the true gauge of the business comes when the VIP facilities on fully online (as opposed to none today) and hence the $14 stock price.
Aside from the long term potential of MPEL or what may happen in '08 or '09, the reasons for not selling MPEL is relatively simple.
One should first try to figure out why the stock dropped as much as it did in the first place...
Primary reason, delays of the hotel portion of Crown. As Goldman Sachs wrote in their research (parapharsing) "it won't be untill November earnings conference call that we have some guidance as how well Crown is doing with fully operational assets".
Secondary reason, Q 2 will be negatively effected by the delays.
And thirdly, seasonaly, this is when gaming stocks are sold as evidenced by WYNN, LVS...
So, if in 3 weeks the VIP tables and slots are fully operational and hotel room will open in phases by July and August is when all gaming stocks begin to rebound, this is a good time to add positions.
Add the rather investor unfriendly conference call and you are looking at an oversold stock for short term reasons and an unhappy investor base more than anything fundamental.
"IF" the hotel actually opens by July and the tables are running fully capacity (remeber the VIP tables have increased to 80 tables up 54% from the original number), by June the stock should be back to where it was before the selloff. In fact, the stock should go up incrementaly as the VIP tables phase in.
Lastly, given the market runup, I'd rather build a postition in a company that's already been hit and looks undervalued to the general industry than a stock with high multiples at a 52wk high.
All gaming stocks look cheap here but MPEL seems to have the biggest upside given the latest developments and the fact that 2/3 of all revenues in Macau come from high rollers. This should bode very well MEPL.
Correct. The company trading in hong kong is Melco International Development Limited. MPEL is a joint venture between Melco and PBL the Australian company, Hence Melco PBL.
Your assumption is incorrect. At the time of IPO, MPEL represented 30% of assets in Melco thereby the 3 to 1 "spinoff" which is what it was when it traded independently in U.S.
ADRs are foreign based companies trading in U.S. with their won asset base. It has nothing to do with Melco.
As for why is it so expensive, here's how they're pricing the valuation:
Closest company to compare MPEL with is WYNN (2 casinos, one in Macau) at a current market cap of $9.6 Billion.
MPEL has one casino in Macau with the other under construction with MC of $5.6 Billion.
If you take out the residential project which should yield somewhere around $1.2 Billion, the company is actually trading at $4.4 Billion on its Casino operation(s).
When COD is operational, "theoretically", MEPL should trade 2 to 3 times its current value given the Macau market has grown to about 12-14 billion in total revenue.
Come to your own conclusions about weather any of these numbers are conservative or aggressive, but that is how the analyst community is pricing the company.
Yes, I predict MPEL will either close higher or lower today but can't be sure.
I recommend buying and selling the stock at the same time equally.