How was your trip to "Mac"?
p.s. Fun thread to revisit... fun to point out that on december 17th, with the stock printing $21.10 -- the lowest since the big poullback in July 2013 -- our Shirley Mason (aka toast/drjackcar/janetate and all the rest of his coy aliases) and his endless stream of bs dissing attempts directed at all posting anything worthwhile here, was trying to advance how dreadful the outlook was for Macau while I suggested those "following the weak analysts" in this sector was likely to be expensive for them turned out just as noted:
"...selling in panic drops usually benefits no one except for the unhedged shorts. In fact, it may be that brighter times are just ahead... in the volatility chop this week, seems to some that the smart guys are buying all the daytraders and algo programs will short to them, including MPEL's aggressively taking in shares down here...
So now, as even the shorts posting s head commentary here all month are pointing out that most analysts are sukin, those "listening to the analysts" are likely to wind up on thew wrong end of the reversal, just like they did in late 2012 and mid 2013 and early 2014 and reloading the dip before the retest/double top in March."
Fun to note that the stock is up more than 32% since that perfect contrary indicator call he made here. LOL
MPEL and LVS are responding with very brightline measures to expand their efforts to "expand and encourage macau tourism with new attractions" apart from the ubiquitous integrated casino resorts on Macau... such activities are clearly differentiating MPEL and LVS from others if the UBS Asia analyst group is correct here.
"Galaxy to get less tables than hoped, UBS says
Macau’s Galaxy Phase 2 may only be granted up to 150 new gaming tables, far less than what it can accommodate, USB analysts argue.
“There have been rumors that Galaxy [phase two] can accommodate 500 [new gaming tables]. The management [of the resort] hopes that they can have 300 [new gaming tables]. The market predicts that they get 200, and it is possible that ultimately they only get 100 to 150. The result will come out as soon as March or April,” said UBS Securities Asia analyst Anthony Wong, quoted in the media.
The analyst quoted Macau government policy which has set a three percent target for the annual growth of gaming tables in the next decade, meaning the six new casino projects that are set to open in the coming years will share a total of 1,800 tables. Table allocation will be depend on how many operators already have and the extent their non-gaming facilities.
Wong predicts that year-on-year gaming revenue in February will slump 37 to 42 percent.
Comment: AGB has argued that while table count is a calculating factor, labour is a far greater issue facing the local operators."
There are various reasons MPEL's occupancy and ebitda/table and relative to footprint top the group, including hotel floorplates/layouts, design motifs, "happy" and elite service-oriented staff, catering well to Asian tastes, and operating many of the finest restaurants in Macau.
"Melco Crown wins Forbes awards for Altira and Crown
Melco Crown Entertainment’s Altira Macau and Crown Towers casinos have once again received the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Awards, taking the total to eight, the most a company in Macau holds.
The Forbes Travel Guide assesses properties around the world on their hospitality and awards those that meet the highest standards.
Among the nine restaurants in Macau awarded the Five Stars, four are from properties of Melco Crown Entertainment – Aurora, Tenmasa, Jade Dragon and The Tasting Room – while Altira Macau and Crown Towers at City of Dreams are two of the eight hotels awarded.
“We are very proud to receive these accolades from Forbes Travel Guide. I am especially delighted that our efforts to achieve the highest standards in service continue to be recognized internationally,” Lawrence Ho, CEO of Melco Crown Entertainment, said in a statement."
COD Manila will soon begin collecting "best in class" awards in Manila too, even before building what will assuredly be the iconic new tower under planning as Phase 2 of the COD Manila complex.
One does not need a "pitch" when facts are presented. What Lawrence shared about "diversification" is a simple statement of fact.
As for Adelson, you guys reading the lvsforum board need to be mindful that reading myopic perspective tends to lead to myopic perspective...
You can eagerly await Shel baby's response to what Lawrence had to say, and old boy Shelly did a good job articulating how building MICE facilities is all about "diversification" while he tried to marginalize COD's HODW as a "one time" visit thing... then there is reality. Gaming rev is the 90% of Macau's revenue base, whether Beijing or anyone else likes it or not... that will not change as there is no big footprint left to do something otherwise. And no, retail nor restaurants nor MICE nor rides are ever going to make a big landscape change. The golden goose is as Leonel Tac said -- a gaming mecca -- and elephant in a pink tutu is forever not that.
HODW is a sold out show because it is forever dazzling and constantly updated/varied to keep it the singular show on Macau. MPEL now has the Dreamworks piece coming in as per top of this thread.
Whether you LVS cheerleaders on lvsforum understand it or not does not matter, but the street has long discounted Shel as an eccentric, self-aggrandizing carnival shouter who doesn't have a clue how to interact with the street. LVS' hiding the sausage on the MBS proprty tax rebate is case in point, as is Shel's forever lack of understanding that having the "most ebitda" is not nearly the metric that adj ebitda/footprint . Shel's answer to GS analyst last yr that "we don't need a cfo because we all know what is needed there" made the point of the question: the buyside and analysts think LVS needs a real cfo who understands the idea of "birds of feather need birds of a feather to talk to." Hats off to spok and bd on that forum though -- note they often present counterpoint to myopic LVS bullishness... but you guys have at yourselves otherwise.
thanks Dave... and great comment from you here as usual. I have yet to comment on VIP... while the multialias Shirley Mason continues to wail bs such as "VIP is dead", VIP is gone and not coming back" here, the reality is that rules compliant VIP is going a lot better than some think at select properties on Macau, especially the "large, quality" operators MPEL is catering to in Altira, having redone several salons for Suncity and other to pten outfits that still control some 75% of peak play. Fun update by MPEL for those paying attention on that... and another new refurbished floor at Altira opening this week -- just in time for the CNY celebrations (as you know, the tours tend to avoid the front half of the CNY week).
As discussed here prior, last year the CNY felll on the first weekend of February... the celebrations this year really do not begin until this weekend. VIP play has tended to wait until after the first part of the CNY week, so we will see how the 2H of February goes...
Golden Week timing aside, and repeating myself now as said a few times since December, but better days ahead for Macau and the group, but especially for MPEL as it positions itself as the model citizen in terms of being responsive to what Beijing is asking for by way of diversifying its Studio City property and adding the new Dreamworks tourist attraction to COD in Cotai.
Below, Shirley (jane tate, toast, drjackcar, dthe98, blaqnite, fcanyc, fcaimbecile, fcaholley, tahoejack, mytek, sheethead and all the rest) calls it "ironic" that i "left out" what he calss the "most important" comment on the call. The update to his macau GGR update is decidedly not that...
Talk about ironic. This awipe is the moron who has said I told everyone to buy the stock at $45, when the reality is here for all to read Jan 14 and March 14 is I explained why we were selling/hedging trading and core positions at those levels. He's also the dufus who said it was going to $75 in 2014. ROTFLOL
Unbelievable that he continues to make a complete jackass of himself on all of these aliases; this dolt with no integrity whatsoever thinks everyone else here is stupid and I'm being deceptive because that is who HE is. What a pos.
Here he says Ho is painting a "rosy picture" and makes the imbecilic comment here I left out something important when the reality is that Lawrence reset the entire group 's expectations for VIP and mass recovery in the first week of August after Zhou, the biggest "tiger" of them all, was arrested for conspiracy. Ho told all that mass would run at leass than half the then ytd level for a while, and that VIP would remain subdued for several Qs. Then, this Q he made it clearthat he thinks the smoking ban is actually going to be a negative, and that the chill of the corruption crackdown will keep GGR subdued for longer than he previously thought (i.e., out to 2H15), but that will result in "only a slight neg YOY growth % for the year"... that is as compared with the "analyst" consensus of significantly worse YOY results for 2015. He is a moron an jackass alright; glad he stayed short from the double test low at $21.
To be really clear, our core at $17 and trading slug just above $25 are unhedged. We think the group is cheap and the risk reward on MPEL today (i.e., SP relative to forward ebitda prospects) is very compelling. So do our pals.
ok Shirley Mason (aka toast/janetate/blacknite/matrixtrade/drjackcar/dthe98/fcaholley/fcanyc/fcaimbecile/mytek/tahoejack and at least 3-4 others on this board alone)...
Another key point to expand on was Lawrence "clarifying", at the request of a few pm I'll say, what he meant by calling table shifting/allocation for Studio City "complicated" on the Sep Q cc in early November. Read the both transcripts for yourself, but the update is that their current concession authority is premise they can shift tables, they just do not want to do that since the Altira/COD tables are 100% owned by MPEL shareholders (notably Pack and Ho together have beneficial ownership of 68%+ of the shares) and the SC revenue sharing arrangements means they need that property to get its own richly deserved/economic Q of tables. Again, Ho's comments on the midyear review, employee contentment/compensation, Macaunese people and community as well as local business support/development and SC diversification said it all.
That should render mrtaxxxxxx silent on the table allocation topic and the the Woody Allen sock he's earned on it... for those who don't know mr taxxxxxx is the longtime MPEL disser in various forums on MPEL not having a gaming license or tables for Studio City at least 4-5 times right here while he touts LVS shares all the way down from $75 to $36 three years ago and then again from above $80 back to below $50 in 2014. He's also dissed me several times for calling out his bs (LOL).
As I have said a few times here of late, brighter days are ahead for the group and all of the U.S. based stocks are ridiculously cheap, but none moreso than MPEL. This story has the Manila, Studio City and Tower 5 catalysts coming as well as the extreme dislocation vs the group in adj ebitda valuation/quality execution. It should be fun watching MPEL lead the group into the next up cycle.
More later, but the "rumor" that the first new property opening on Cotai this year (Galaxy's new Galaxy 2 casino resort) will get only a light table allocation makes sense when considering MPEL serious entertainment offerings coming to COD and Studio City 3-4 months after Galaxy 2 opens... and LVS is certainly making an effort with the new "J" theme park too ahead of opening their new Parisian early next year.
Another nice subtlety on the conference call was Lawrence noting that they have all needed permits and approvals (building and labor) needed to finish up Studio City on schedule. That is a great reassurance on MPEL regulatory/governmental standing vs LVS' delays on both (now resolved by the new Macau regime as noted here prior so good for LVS), and WYNN's news last week that new Palace property on Cotai will be pushed back at least 3 motnhs or so because of permit/approval delays that the new govt in macau has just advised them was happening.
Seems there is something to Ho's "Asian Way."
From the forbes article:
"Melco Crown Entertainment’s City of Dreams Manila expects to open the world’s first DreamPlay theme park, featuring DreamWorks characters and settings later this quarter“...
Sands [LVS' Macau sub] is building a large theme park too, though the forbes article gives air to the view that Macau is and always will be, first and foremost, a gambling mecca as Leong Tac (Macau's brand new finance secretary) as said in so many words a few times. Whether politicians from Beijing like it or not, as commented here prior, Macau is never going to be a dancing elephant in a pink tutu. LOL
"Planet J forecasts it will attract 3 million visitors during its first year of operation. We’ll see. While visitors such as CMRG’s Rein complain about the lack of family entertainment or more broadly about Macau’s lack of non-gaming attractions and Macau and mainland China officials talk about diversification, resort operators say they’ve learned the vast majority of visitors are interested in gambling and little else.
The operators may be right, or it may be that be that they simply haven’t found the right non-gaming attractions yet... Planet J is a noble experiment at a time when Macau, with eight straight months of falling revenue in the books, could use some magic."
We'll see is right, but good to see that LVS (with Circle J) is now piling on with MPEL (at both COD and Studio City) to give "diversification" a legit investment. If you missed the MPEL CC, give a listen -- as Lawrence said on it, Studio City is going to have more [legitimate] diversisfication/entertainment attractions than the rest of Macau properties combined... and that is on top of COD's HODW and the Dreamworks "Theme Park" noted above.
The CC also covers rumors rumbling that the "first new resort on Cotai this year [i.e., Galaxy's huge new casino property] will get only a "light table allocation." Perhaps Galaxy needs to follow MPEL and LVS' lead with other "attractions" for patrons.
Blackrock (in several of their funds), Lazard and Harris (~doubled to almost 4% of outstanding shares) added large.
Oppenheimer came onto a new position with 10,809,000 shares -- call it 2% of outstanding shares.
Seems these high quality players all agree with Packer and Lawrence Ho -- who bought in some $200m worth of stock on top of the $100m done in September -- that MPEL shares were way too oversold between $27 on down to below $22...
The stock is now up some 30% from the double bottom retest low... Here's some fun: up another 30% or so and we may sell out some of the trading sleeve (basis just over $25) on this.
When they initiated paying the dividends on the 30% gearing concept, i made the point that the $ amts would be small for a while because earnings are certainly not the focus near term while they continue building out the "transformational" new properties. I also pointed out that the reason they were hopped up to pay some cash out was that Packer (co chairman and through his Crown resorts controlled sub owns 34%+ of MPEL following the buyback) and his separate company were in sore need of cashflow because Crown resorts was not generating much and they had several new properties planned near term. Since then, one of the Aussie deals fell apart for them, so that relieved some of the pressure on Crown's funding. MPEL also began the program with a one time special dividend... no doubt sized to cover Crown's need. Thankfully MPEL had/has HUGE FCF unless they need have Japan come about near term.
Another point I made back then was that their largely institutional ownership (only about 5% is in retail hands as discussed a few times here), and any pm or individual in this for a legit ride much higher over the next couple of years, understanding taxes would rather have MPEL use tax efficient buybacks rather than paying cash dividends that are taxable to most U.S. (and likely Aussie) based shareholders. By their actions, management and the BOD agree; witness they spent over $300m on share buybacks between $22 and $27/share (on the way down and back up to $25) during September and then the three week cram in the 4th Q before they got going on the positive news flow of COD Manila.
Better earnings are coming as Altira and COD Cotai make progress, but espec Manila and Studio City (2 phases on both of those) and then Tower 5 at COD Cotai come on stream, and some shareholders may want the bigger dividends. We hope they step up the remaining buyback (~$200m) and then add a new $500m authorization and stomp on that first. Longtimers all own another 2%+ of the company already!
Hey huzzbuzz and colgate,
Good to have you guys both still here too... and glad to clarify the div huzz.
a few comments re the capital distributions efforts in reply to colgate's point on a new thread titled "Capital Distribution Program"
The $.0171 you listed is per the "ordinary shares" which are the HK listed shares and is the amount, in USD, payable to those holding the HK shares while they are still dual listed. As discussed here a few times, the conversion to get the ADS amount is to multiply by 3 so like this: 3 x $.0171 = $.0513 per ADS share.
Here is the part of the press release that just says the answer (without the explanation I just shared) that is relevant to U.S. listed shares -- the American Depositary Shares:
"The Quarterly Dividend of approximately US$0.0513 per ADS, less any applicable fees and
charges, will be paid on or about March 16, 2015 by the depositary, in cash in US dollars, to ADS
holders of record as of March 4, 2015 in accordance with the deposit agreement."
Payable on March16 ( 2-3 plus slop days for U.S distribution) to shareholders of record as of March 4. They don't specify, but likely goes ex div on March 2. Ask your advisor if it matters to you.
for anyone who cares, we own 3x as much TRIP as PCLN, but added to both this morning. No current position in EXPE, but adding a bunch to AAL and UAL now.
7. Midterm Review Process: Lawrence explains why they are looking forward to the midterm review. Thinks MPEL will come through the review with "flying colors and at the top of the group based on MPEL's involvement to diversify Macau, develop its people, engage/db with and encourage growth of local establishments, comply with all applicable rules, laws and governmental directives.
8. Best in Group EBITDA 9relative to footprint): Despite low holds and slightly lower mass hold (win rate) on table games vs PY, MPEL's COD ebitda was over 85% mass, and ignoring that some of Altira offline for repositioning and all of the noise/corruption crackdown, over 80% of overall ebitda was mass/direct credit play. That reamins best in the business on Macau.
9. COD manila: Ho said this is going very well and he's really pleased to have the "exciting, transformational COD Manila" opened now and looking forward to sharing the early results on that on the next call.
I'll share more later, but listen to the call before selling any shares at these ridiculously discounted levels.
Longs ought to listen to the replay if you missed the call just now, but this conference call handling was excellent with great updates on many important aspects of this company's future.
1. Mkt share: Taking share across the board: mass, RC (VIP) and machines.
2. Record Table drop and machines at record levels at COD Cotai.
3. Altira: has had many VIP rooms offline during repositioning effort to focus on the biggest, quality junkets, but they will all be back operating as of next week. Sun City is ready to go there now, and another large operator (no announcement as of yet) will make it 3 of the 4 largest tour operators doing business at Altira now, with 2 all new salons. The naysayers can't figure it out, but those bringing legitimate (non-crooks) in on quality tours in compliance with all applicable rules/screening/funding sources are continuing to play in Macau, and MPEL is taking share these days.
4. Studio City Tables -- Expect to get at least 400 tables, optimal is 500, but if less, "as licensee" (says Lawrence) they can still move tables from other locales, but the comments about MPEL shareholders first tells macau officials they need to be "fair and reasonable" to avoid crimping style for SC. In other words, MPEL will continue to focus its table allocations on its 100% owned properties if forced to allocate them within all of its properties. See #5 below.
5. "Diversification and Other "Tickmakrks": Ho explains here why SC offers up more "tourism/family entertainment diversification than the rest of Macau COMBINED." Makes the clear case MPEL should do as well or better than any other company on getting tables for SC (not mentioned was Phase 2 in the balance).
6. Macaunese People Development: Big tickmark here. Says LT retention plan was a smash hit vs ST bonuses and that MPEL is developing its employees and has excellent relations with them and the "happiest employees on Macau." Says not concerned about finding new staff for needs.