We have owned MPEL, LVS and WYNN many times over the years. No other company is as well positioned as MPEL is in terms of the next 18 months and programmed percentage increases in footprint expansion (Macau AND Manila), ebitda, adj ebitda, footprint expansion, and, toward the end of that period, adj EPS.
Your comments on MSC 2017-18 must be referring to the "expansion phase" they just began talking about in the 10k. The "initial" phase will have 1100 rooms, but the capex budget for the expansion phase implies twice as much construction budget. To be clear, the "initial phase will hit the ground at full throttle in mid 2015 (NOT 2017 or 2018).
As for the group, things are so hammered they are all buys, but of the four U.S. listed companies, quality analysis would lead those with legit sector comprehension to conclude this order of preference: MPEL, WYNN and then LVS and MGM.
Re your comments on LVS "dry spell", not sure what cyclical dip you are referring to, but we owned it 100% net long for the run from $38 to $72, selling out early, but then reloading it for the second bump from low $70s to $80 when they finally pulled Shel's nutty Spain idea that we suggested was hutrting the stock from $80 back to below $70...
Again, we think straightforward analysis makes it obvious MPEL is poised to outperform the group, but WYNN is the second stock we'd add if we were adding another name in the sector.
In addition to the brazilbound joker, now we have another genius saying that "TA says sell"...
No, it does not. The stock is jcall it 1% below the recent pivot (buy point), and now consolidating recent gains... and likely will soon RIP past the pivot at ~$1291.
Our PT is $1400 by the Dec Q earnings call.
MPEL's focus on elite mass/premium play is not yet even close to valued appropriately, but that discount will fade with ongoing execution. With the new revelations last week that MPEL is "repurposing" Altira for the big VIP operators -- with mass/premium mass being the focus of COD and,next year, Studio City, MPEL will be in the A1 slot on Macau...
Fun to read the VIP recovery already underway in Macau as Deutsche's Tang published Monday night.
Jim, the ex date sounds right as that would be 3 business days before the record date. Consult your broker if it matters to anyone.
Excerpt from the MPEL PR:
DECLARATION AND PAYMENT OF QUARTERLY DIVIDEND
Melco Crown Entertainment Limited (the “Company”) is pleased to announce that on August 7, 2014, the board of directors of the Company (the “Board”) considered and approved the declaration and payment of a quarterly dividend of US$0.0259 per ordinary share of the Company for the second quarter of 2014 (the “Quarterly Dividend”).
The Quarterly Dividend will be paid on or about September 4, 2014 to the shareholders of the Company (the “Shareholders”) whose names appear on the register of members of the Company at the close of business on August 25, 2014, being the record date for determination of entitlements to the Quarterly Dividend...
The payment of the Quarterly Dividend will be made in Hong Kong dollars for the Shareholders and in United States dollars for the holders of American Depositary Share(s) of the Company (“ADS”), each of which presents three ordinary shares...
The Quarterly Dividend of approximately US$0.0777 per ADS, less any applicable fees and charges, will be paid on or about September 4, 2014 by the depositary, in cash in US dollars, to ADS holders of record as of August 25, 2014 in accordance with the deposit agreement.
Several interesting changes of late...
Pimco was on only 75k shares at 3/31 and went out of thiose shares as of June 30. Yet their comments on Macau and MPEL in particular have been very Pimco-esque and bullish of late... likely they have been buying a bunch down another couple bucks below still lower 50d ema ($32.60).
Cap Re sold out roughly 20% of their large position. We will not be surprised to see them be the big seller of late. They have been on large almost two years now and have a big gain in it... but we also will not be surprised if they were selling out from $37 down to $31 last Q and are now adding it back.
Several momo/trading oriented players who rushed in after 12/31 sold down or out in the March 13Fs, a happenstance that continued during the June Q as seen in the filings. We are glad to see them out as the sector is specialty niche and choppy up and down when momo dweebs chase it chasing this in Feb/March this year as noted here back then. The good news is that just as they chased it too hard, too fast above $40 back then, they are also now trying to press the sub $30 bets.
Importantly, in our view, many longtime investors in the niche added seriously to their positions during the June Q, with such positions put on between $31 and $37... they (and we) are playing for more than a 10% bump in our view... they are in for the real ride higher now overdue to resume.
Since the drop below $30, and, as stated earlier, have no box or paired short offsets to the long... same with our longtime pals in this sector. The stock remains ridiculously oversold and grinding along the bottom down here, but for how many more days? LOL Hopefully MPEL is a long way to using the $500m buyback plan before the next SH meeting where they will likely renew the authority/$ amt.
Out PT remains $40 before Feb ends, with the footnote that $50 is certainly doable f12m. Fun to see Bain lower his f12m estimate a "whopping" $3, all the way down to $54/share.
Search Studio City Tables for good threads on the topic; this one is on point & so were Ho's "get our share +" comments about 400+ tables for MSC on the CC last week. More?
It is also established that the "table limits" are not a legislated or even enforced policy; they are annual table authorization "guidelines" only and have been surpassed since inception.
Central planners and Macau officials can flap their wings and gums, but the reality is that CASINO GAMING is what makes Macau the draw and revenue/commerce creator that it is -- not just for gov't coffers, for ALL Macau's cash registers and surrounding developments, too.
As the infrastructure developments are completed, there should be plenty of business not just for Cotai but the Penninsular too (notice how Steve Wynn continually emphasizes they will stay focused on developing that and now Altira is being "repurposed" for the bigger VIP tour operators?) and people should be able to ingress/egress and move around the island without gridlock worse than West L.A. during rush hour. This will ease the local politician noise about constraining anything about tourism/visitation.
MPEL's COD and soon Studio are "models" for creating more than just big casinos. Same with WYNN's new Paradise Resort "lake" with Bellagio-like appeal for all visitors to take in while there. Arguably no one gets it as much as MPEL, but all the big guys get it with giving employees big comp adjs (notice no brashness ala Steve or protests ala Shel at MPEL's properties?). As an aside, these mean peanuts to the adj ebitda math.
N.B. that MPEL's current relative valuation on ebitda metrics is as if incremental adj ebitda from SC will not happen. Another way of saying that is if none of the casinos get any new table allotment, WYNN should get cut about in half before MPEL should drop any further. Same for MGM and close to same for LVS.
MSC's "expansion phase" should be amongst the final Macau tables granted for Macau (2018).
Bain's comments here are profound and right on for those who understand the business... The last three paragraphs emphasize the key points I have been making about what the media and dippy "analysts" have called the "weakest performance of the group" during the 2Q...
It has been a great time for us to grab shares...
Meanwhile, the 2Q 13Fs are on file now. Much to glean, but the easy summary is that during the Q many strong and longtime sector investors added while lots of hotter money left (stock traded between 31 and 39). Disappointing to see Cap Re bail on 20% of their allocation and perhaps they cont selling it out in recent months, but also wouldn't be surprised to see them adding it back down here at the goof levels. Less
You are welcome. Did you see the "table permit" question and Ho's lucid answer to that below? Ho has made it clear he thinks they are all set, about like Steve Wynn has done with the new WYNN property, except without the bravado Steve shared on the table topic.
As we have said for years, MPEL (Ho) and WYNN (Steve) are smooth and good at getting what they need... other companies seem to have trouble getting their permits prior to doing work (LVS) and or trouble getting construction crews going timely enough to gain any comfort with completion dates, projecting the latter onto others (MGM's Murren commentary last call) . Not so with Lawrence and Steve - both have said their programs are on budget and on time AND, whether detractors like it or not, both Lawrence and Steve have said they are "highly confident" they will get the tables they need to complete their new IR showcase resorts on Cotai.
Have I mentioned that the definition of "Integrated Resort" includes gaming and casinos facilities? LOL
Now that the transcript is available, i'll suggest longs ought to consider doing themselves the favor of reading the transcript -- the parts about Ho's view of what has happened to near term growth and what he sees for next year as the infrastructure projects and new properties are opened [and repositioned] is fun reading.
Altria, MPEL's other 5 Star rated property on Macau, continued to have tables sent over to booming COD on the cotai strip and put up disappointing numbers for the Q, but Ho's comments on Altria were illuminating. From the scripted commentary on the Q call:
"Turning to Altria. In addition to the companywide table optimization process, we are also repositioning Altira to focus more exclusively on larger junkets, who are better positioned to complete in this evolving market. We believe that Altria remains one of the most luxurious hotel and VIP gaming properties in Macau, and we anticipate these changes to the property's positioning will ensure it can compete strongly in this segment of the market."
COD manila opening in 3 months is great news... but in less than 12 months forward, MPEL will have the initial phase of Studio City opened, all of the enhancements at COD Cotai done (excl Tower 5 scheduled for 2017 completion) and and have Altria transformed from the "luxury penninsular property" to the ultra deluxe venue focused "more exclusively on larger junkets." Starts to look like everything they do is part of a grand plan... "shaping the future of Asian gaming," doesn't it...
I just posted Ho's comments on Studio City from the earnings call last week. His comments on the permits and tables are lucid.
Tang, DB Analyst
"One of the key permit would be the number of table quota, can you remind us at what stage before opening should we be expecting that number?
Yau Lung Ho - Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Karen, I think, on that front the Macau Government is still thinking about their strategy and also talking to the leadership in China about the quota. But based on what they have guided all these years with the table cap, I think they will allocate the tables accordingly to the diversity -- the diversification and neatness of the property. We still -- we're very confident that we'll get our fair share of those tables. But the Macau Government have not communicated with us or the properties that are opening next year. I anticipate and again, this is a best guess, that we'll probably find out, probably 9 months ahead of time. But at this point in time, we still have the property -- our property. Studio City can accommodate a capacity of 500 tables. Are we going to get 500 tables? We, honestly, don't know. But I think from a fair share standpoint, and I think we will all going to pull above our weight on the fair share, we've always guided that we hope to get 400 tables or more."
It is subtle, but here Ho is making it clear that the govt has not officially entitled ANY operators on the table allocations; he is also making it plain as day that Studio City is EXACTLY the kind of proud showcase of being more than just a big casino can be when a developer goes out of its way to address the desires of the macau and Central Chinese govt officials to have Macau become more than just a series of large gaming facilities. Everyone knows that gaming is the big draw, but the companies likely to get big table allocations, at least as Ho lays out here, is going to be all about meeting govt requirement that ENTERTAINMENT venues be an integral par of all new IR complexes on Macau. Love Ho's understated "confidence" here... the "Asian Way."
MGM and LVS' recent news on fumbling with construction delays and lacking timely permits is in stark contrast to Ho, the favored one, and MPEL's handling and execution.
Here's what he said about staying on track timing wise for Studio City:
"I think luckily for us, we -- and not luckily because we've always acted in the best faith and we follow all the rules from the Macau Government. We've got all of our construction permits. And each step of the way, when we got the foundation permit, that's when we do the foundation work. When we get the upper floor permit, that's when we do it. So we've never really kind of disobeyed or moved away from the rules. And I think, then that's why whether it's from a labor code standpoint or construction progress standpoint, we are firing at full speed. And as we said in the prepared remarks, we have begun setting out both hotels rooms and also in the main gaming and retail areas. So we are -- we're very happy. We're happy with the progress. So in terms of that backlog, it's no secret. There's plenty of development in Macau and the government is very hard -- trying very hard to clear up the backlog, and there's a huge backlog. But for us, thankfully, since we followed every step of the way, we don't need -- we don't have any outstanding permits that we require from a construction standpoint."
He also made it clear they are now finalizing the gaming floor and entertainment layouts, including his expectations of how many tables they anticipate getting as a key part of the showcase of Macau govt/ MPEL development partnership this "Integrated Resort" (MSC) will be on opening... cont..
Seriously now... what F moron would thumbs that learned, helpful and very objective reply? I can't wait until Yahoo starts publishing these dip S ratings. At least they gave readers the umlimited ignore bucket last year. LOL
Crown Resorts is largely a hotel company, not "casino" operator. Packer's company relies on MPEL for earnings and MPEL's dividend for cash flow.
Search "Crown Resorts" and Cosmopolitan here to learn more about Packer and Crown.
Lots of quality buysiders added 1Q between $38 and 45.. Many continued adding 2Q in the mid $30s. They aren't playing for up 10% anymore than we are... but, for all its at times sloppy inefficiency, the market is a forward discounting mechanism. Unhedged shorts should soon play the part of the ISIS guys feeling like they are tough guys... while the F18s are fueling just below the flight deck.
perspective.... much of what you wrote involves the uncertainty created by the conspriacy to take these stocks down, aided and abetted by ill-concieved political headline grabbing in china while all the economic and other bs headlines slammed the sector. And all of that went on while MPEL had no buyback program launched, and without any of the talking heads and media dolts understanding the dynamics that matter rolling forward.
Consider that a if MPEL had top of normal hold on its haircut RCV they would have hit estimates -- their $32m number is the midpoint of range... and play that against the skipping record of peers being above the normal range and you get to where one needs to actually understand the business to discern MPEL'sd numbers were not all that bad. Then too, mass ebitda was up 38% at COD -- that was better than any other property there, and up on a tougher comp than any other company in the group. Hello?
So now Ho explains mass is coming in to 20% for the island and all analysts except Bain have kittens over it while murmuring they are more comfortable longer term but don;t really have a F clue what is happening "al of the sudden"? Here's the news: they have been clueless all along, and now it shows. Ho's wake up call is now, just one week later, the, "ummnn, yeah, as we were saying, we think mass will come in a bit from 35% because that is just too hih." Stupifying...
As I have noted for a while now, AAPL the airlines and OTAs were sold down on all of the too fast too high too long, yet now they are "suddenly" reversing higher as everyone takes their heads out their hind ends. MPEL and the group should be materially higher shortly; talking heads and others may stand around looking confused and uncertain, quality buysiders are taking in all the shares they can down here. We're adding too. LOL
The financials are next in queue... group RSIs on these sectors are #$%$ too low given they will outpace on growth barring a big recession
Second article in a week demonstrating they are an incompetent, poser "research firm"... hard to believe anyone would pay them to scoop dog S off the pavement in midtown NYC. It is one thing to have an incompetent pseudo journalist write at Barrons or IBD, another still to hold your firm out as a "research firm" and then publish such drivel as they have on MPEL.
Almost as stupid as the morons using multiple aliases here and suggesting mgmt fraud and that MPEL always trades worst in the group. LOL Someone should direct those two putzes to a peer comp chart for the t1m period between Aug 2012 and March 2014. The next 12 months should also be a hayride for those shorting this stock without hedge offset... Hope they had fun today. LOL
Pretty sure you meant revenues vs earnings... From the Manila piece, they are very unlikely to have GAAP or even adj "earnings" for 4Q. However, as long as they open with Ho's "100% ready", they will have more revenues than the zero the street has modeled. LOL As noted prior, they are now carrying heavy pre-opening costs, incl 3000+ staff training for the open in Manila; accordingly, the revenue contribution will be important to adj ebitda generation 4Q and forward.
Last time I saw a PT update from Bain he was at $57 (f12m) from his mid Feb update. The Macau reset as told by Ho last week apparently didn't phase Bain much (correction sought if you know)... That $57 target will require a solid performance by MPEL 2H14, including affirmation that the initial phase of the Studio City project will be [Ho's 100%] "ready to open" mid 2015 as they disclosed last week.
Thanks for the share.
Bain's recap (12.7%) is consistent with MPEL's comments that they think August is back to solid after a slow start in July [which we now know was experienced by all casinos there].
It is also consistent with the low profile of junket play, with the companies focused on mass (LVS and MPEL) looking relatively stronger YOY.