As noted many times here, unlike the HK shares for the other U.S. listed gaming companies, the MPEL listed shares essentially do not trade any volume there in no small part because Lawrence Ho and Packer (co-chairmen of MPEL) control 68% of the shares through their separately owned companies -- and essentially all the remaining float is institutionally owned and traded as ADS shares here. This dynamic is manifested in typical daily volume of the ADS equivalent of less than 15,000 shares...
Still, good to see all of these companies shares rise 2-3% today on the strength of Chinese construction companies and banking names running as Beijing moves to stimulate lending, real estate and international and regional commerce. Bloomberg has several good aeticles on these topics this morning.
MPEL shares have rallied almost 20% since the July 2013 low rejection last week as discussed on my recent thread on the topic. The stock danced around the 50d ema at $25 yesterday, and the 200d ema is down below $31 as the fog begins to show signs of lift again in China... all of that on top of no negative surprises from Xi Jinping and was obviously understood to be good news last week as hedge programs came off contemporaneously with MPEL buying back more than $200m worth of shares.
Better days ahead for MPEL and the other Macau names as all the bad news is known and has been repeated 700 or so times... and the pendulum shift to a good news cycle is now overdue in 2015.
Merry Christmas to all of the quality guys and your families!
Wow, articles with some balance about macau? There is hope that there are still some legit journalist grads out there...
One day soon, Beijing is going to smell the coffee and tell the new leadership in Macau that it is time to back off from standing on everyone's feet before the newborn calf is emaciated... the only way to get a fatted calf is to feed the beast! Goog this title for the article.
"Macau Treasury hit by gaming slowdown"
Of course, it’s affecting the operators. But decelerating gaming revenues are hitting the SAR Treasury in the pocket, too. Over the past 5 months MOP5.6 billion in taxes has slipped away vis-à-vis last year..."
Then there was this one, another smell the coffee moment for Beijing and the new leadership in Macau wherethe author calls the politically motivated corruption hunt a "gift to macau's competitors"
title: "Institutionalised anti-corruption policy prolonging VIP crisis in Macau"
Since being launched at the end of 2012, more than 75,000 party members have been investigated under Xi Jinping’s anti-graft policy, with 690 named publicly, ending the political careers of every official accused, even before any court trial, said the South China Morning Post this week. A later phase of the campaign focusing on signs of lavish spending and extravaganza displayed by Chinese officials and businessmen is a hunt that has directly affected VIP customers in Macau, especially this year. The highest profile probe to date is of Zhou Yongkang, a former member of the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee, and once overlord of policing and justice."
75k reviewed and less than 1% (690) called out, incl ~35 taking themselves out with tall building jumps? How many pols are there in China? How many more days to go now? Ongoing until Xi's visit? And the new office of corruption will be about all about FUTURE corruption, not "hunting" historical events and witches, and still 80% of VIP play goes on - and here comes Manila
Macau's new finance chief, Leong Tac, just shared some BIG news for the two new "casinos" opening on Macau this year. This is all entirely consistent with rapid approval/permits given to LVS last week and a very public acknowledgement that it is time to get back to business in Macau. As for 1H less growth rate than last year? Known and old news -- last February's yoy comp was 42%, and Xi Jinping's arrest of Zhou (i.e., severity of "crackdown"/going after political enemies) was not known until last week of July -- and still ~80% of VIP continues (ex the weaker small junkets and questionable/squeamish players to be sure). Further, Jinping's visit is over (no damage done) and the CNY celebration crowds will be there next month, with this "golden week" ex the Hong Kong umbrella distraction.
GGR recovery to start in 2H2015 at earliest: Macau govt
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac (pictured) on Friday said that the city’s casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) was unlikely to return to year-on-year expansion until the second half of 2015.
He called the ongoing downturn “an adjustment period”.
Mr Leong said the GGR decline was “positive” as it could give the industry breathing room to promote a more sustainable development model for the long run.
“Because we are now facing an adjustment period in the gaming sector, we don’t expect casino revenue for the first two quarters of 2015 to be similar to the same prior-year period,” Mr Leong said in comments broadcast by Radio Macau.
He added that growth could return in the second half of 2015, triggered by the opening of new casino developments on Cotai. Still, Mr Leong called for “prudent” expectations.
Macau’s two 2015 openings – both officially scheduled for mid-year – are Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd’s Galaxy Macau Phase 2 and that for Melco Crown Enterainment Ltd’s majority-owned Studio City.
Mr Leong declined to provide estimates for GGR performance in 2015.
Apart from the "little girl on a" moron dissing Manila prospects here, those who can think might consider that MPEL's co-chairmen, Crown's Packer and Melco's Ho are two of the world wealthiest men (having net worth exceeding $7B and $4B, respectively, and they likely didn't sign up with Sy, the wealthiest man in the Philippines, to do only marginal business at COD manila. There will assuredly be a honeymoon and ramp process, but for starters, they will quickly generate sufficient revenues to cover their share ($30m/Q of preopening opex , a # sure to go up on opening/marketing/full staffing), and soon after drive hurdle-plus ROI -yes, much more than trivial ebitda and EPS.
Macau-based casino giant MPEL is set to start bringing its CODManila to life next month with an initial soft launch eyed for the $1.3 billion integrated entertainment resort along Manila Bay.
.. Ho said COD Manila, the second of four resort-casinos in Entertainment City, would have a soft opening next month and a grand launch before the CNY (Feb 19th).
“We are excited about the imminent opening of City of Dreams Manila. We are planning on opening the doors to customers in December for a sneak peak of what the property has to offer before a grand opening prior to Chinese New Year in 2015,” Ho said.
“The Philippines gaming market continues to grow strongly and we believe the introduction of City of Dreams to Manila, with its collection of world-class brands and attraction, will significantly strengthen Manila’s appeal to local and international customers who are seeking an exciting leisure and entertainment experience,” he added.
Ho said initial clamor for rooms and gaming tables in COD Manila has been high, with demand already exceeding supply. “We have more demand than available rooms and tables for junket partners in the Philippines.. going to be the fastest growing gaming market in the world this year... so we are encouraged about it," said Ho.
Sales 101: Overcoming Objections
The long awaited 24-hour was announced yesterday, begins on December 18, one week before Xi Jingping's apparently now scheduled visit. Seems maybe Beijing doesn't want to hurt the Golden Goose after all...
Excellent news for Macau as this eases the traffic crunch and will facilitate worker, supplier and visitor access in and out of Macau....
MPEL's buyback plan is finally engaging with some serious activity over the last three days.
Over the last three days they have repurchased the equivalent of 411,600, 627937, and 800,000 ADS shares, for a total of 1,839,537 shares. Yesterday's buying was the cheapest with a blended cost of $24.33.
Might they have a bit more insight into what happens than does Shuli Renn and the confederacy of "geniuses" unhedged short down here?
The "retest" of the recent low referenced here a few times is front row again today. With Xi Jinping coming on Monday (what if anything will be in the gift basket/wave of his hand?), a week ahead of the new Macau leadership being officially sworn in, will this group and stock begin a sharp reversal sometime soon such as that seen on WFM after its extended selloff many sellsiders suggested it would never rebound from (WFM is up some 35% from the low a month ago), or is the malaise engulfing all Macau names -- and most beta/high growth stocks for that matter -- going to continue past year end pending 2015 catalysts being discounted more than not at all?
We took off the pair short on WYNN this morning...
As noted a few times here, this stock won't be a "chart buy" until the stock crosses back above the 200d ema on heavy volume, but the chart is suddenly looking constructive for those who can process what I wrote last week about the successful retest (rejection) of the July 2013 low last week -- not just for MPEL but also LVS and WYNN as noted then. These shares are up some 14% since as the buysiders pull hedges on the difference between "illicit money transfers" and Chinese law compliant VIP operations/money transfers and the quality/texture of Xi Jinping's scripted remarks endorsing Macau and encouraging further diversification. Those who are dialed in to MPEL's business plan and "best in group diversification of offerings" of Macau's Integrated Resorts understand MPEL is accomplishing Beijing's objectives better than any other operator on Macau; the cinematically-themed Studio City (phase 1) will be further transformational for MPEL, almost doubling MPEL's room count on cotai (and macau for that matter) and quickly become the pedestal example of new world order diversification.
More excellent news on was filed on the ongoing buyback program to reflect additional buyback activitiy on Friday. While Jinping was at the microphone, MPEL took in another 836,012 shares, bringing the cumulative total to 8,105,534 shares (ADS equiv) purchased over the last consecutive 11 days in a row. Great to see the two co chairmen/billionaires controlling some 68% of the outstanding shares make this statement about the future of MPEL and its stock... on top of the ~$100m repurchased last Q around $27/share, so far this Q they have invested another $200,000,000 of recent ebitda in the discounted shares....
Lucky 8s.... LOL
MPEL continued the string of consecutive daily buybacks yesterday (12 days in a row now), adding another 403,260 shares thus bringing total buybacks this quarter to 8,508,794 ADS equivalent shares.
As noted above, very sector knowledgeable "smart money," including the guys running this company and owning 2/3s of it, are gobbling up all the shares people will sell down here... and still they have roughly $200m of authorization remaining on the initial $500m buyback plan.
Good to see them make this statement about how they feel about trading at the lowest fwd ebitda multiple since they started the company, particularly given the Macau room count will almost double and between that and the COD Manila rooms opening right now, MPEL's footprint (room count) will increase a total of some 140% between now and August.
What, something other than bad news on GGR? Fun to note that although HK prints on MPEL are trivial shares, the HK shares were actually up for the day.
Next thing you know, Xi Jinping will visit and likely bring another gift basket to Macau -- perhaps just a freindly wave of his hand and some conciliatory remarks about how Macau has become a showplace of China as an emerging world tourism destination... essentially signaling the "all clear" siren for elite players.
Meanwhile, from the more good news department, statisticians will recall MPEL and the group ended last year with soft holds... a simple restoration to mid-range holds will drive a significant ebitda beat for the group, and here comes Altira's VIP rejuvenation and at least some revenue from the already rolling "soft opening" at COD Manila.
Hey, someone should email Benzinga to advise them their amateur hour reporting calling MPEL a "Macau pure play" is no longer accurate.
P.S. The Nov short puts at $24 expired worthless for the "little girl on AOL" worried about our trading shares basis. LOL
Leung Tac, the new finance chief, is not alone acknowledging that Macau's future will remain primarily about its "special status" as the only legal gaming venue for China.
The chief exec from Macau in his annual report to Beijing and also China's second most powerful politician, premier Li Keqiang, have made it clear they understand gaming resorts are Macau's reason for being so prosperous and important to Hengqin and surrounds. Seem they are intent on keeping Macau going and striving for "modest diversification" too while remaining mindful that Macau is pricipally about gaming and traffic for Hengqin. Excerpts below from the comments in Beijing last week... my favorite was the parts about "promote moderate diversification" and later "appropriate diversification" in Macau. MPEL best in class on that score with HOD and Studio City IR coming soon.
"Chinese premier voices support to HK, Macao development
Premier Li Keqiang on Friday pledged continued support to the governments of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and Macao SAR when meeting with leaders of the two regions.
Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong SAR chief executive, and Chui Sai On, Macao SAR chief executive, were in Beijing to report their work in 2014 to the central government...
When meeting with Chui Sai On [Macau chief exec] separately, the premier praised what the SAR government has done in the past 15 years and urged them to seize new opportunities and promote moderate diversification of the Macao economy.
Leung said the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect scheme enhances Hong Kong's connection with the mainland and boosts Hong Kong's financial sector. He vowed to develop the economy, improve the quality of people's lives and push forward the development of the region's political system.
Chui also thanked the central government for its support of his administration and vowed to improve the livelihood of Macao people and work hard for an appropriate diversification of Macao's economy."
Barron's (NOT Shuli Renn lol)
Gaming revenues hurt by corruption crackdown, but worst appears priced in as new resorts drive earnings growth.
Fortune has not smiled on Macau’s casino operators in 2014. The red-hot winning streak enjoyed by casino stocks in the only place that gambling is allowed in China has been brought to an end by Beijing’s crackdown on corruption and extravagant spending.
The reversal of fortune has been stark. The Bloomberg Macau Gaming Market Index advanced a staggering 100% in 2013, but this year the gauge has tumbled around 40%. SJM Holdings ( 880.HK ), whose Grand Lisboa casino is the tallest building in Macau, has been the worst performer with a 53% decline. The unrelenting drive to quash corruption and extravagant spending has stemmed the flood of gamblers keen to test their luck at the tables. The architect of the crackdown, Chinese president Xi Jinping, arrived in the special administrative region on Friday for a two day visit to celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the handover of Macau to China.
But the misfortune that has plagued Macau’s casino stocks may be the opportunity that risk hungry investors have been waiting for. Investors that have sold their positions in the big casino operators have expressed concerns about the drop in the number of deep-pocketed VIP bettors visiting Macau. It is little wonder investors are downbeat, as slower growth in gaming revenue at the start of the year has transformed into an outright decrease in gaming revenues as 2014 draws to a close.
However, Macau’s casino industry will not be as reliant on these big spenders over coming years as it is commonly perceived. Analysis by Goldman Sachs shows (cont)
Despite their heavy VIP orientation (vis a vis LVS and MPEL that is), they still put up decent ebitda progress.
Considering that WYNN and MGM have heavier VIP mix than MPEL and LVS, and they along with WYNN didn't have the big fat holds this Q, it likely won;t be long before the buyside pulls remianing hedges and even the lame sellside analysts figure out that macau is a profitable venture despite a 20% clip on VIP vs last year.
If you missed it, have a read through the article this morning saying "experts" are concerned Xi's visit scheduled for December may crimp play by leaving elite wealth players in their foxholes. Other experts think Xi is coming for the 150th turnover anniversary, but also to talk about how great macau is for China's new world order on converting from a production economy to move of a consumer/services based economy. He'll also likely emphasize how wonderful it is to see all of the infrastructure and surrounding development taking off now, and applaud the IR developers who have taken the "destination resort" to heart in their offerings as an intergral part of making Macau a truly great vacation destination for those looking for a proud chinese locale to go to -- one with exciting cultural, resort, dining and entertainment options, and also the pride of the world place to recreate by gaming responsibly.
Hey Xi, no credit needed for your use of this outline for your remarks at the microphone... just make sure there are lots of the dipchit media writers there -- you know, the ones who have been wetting themselves all year.
On that note, China is apparently moving to permit Visa and Mastercard to do business in China... if that progress as is being discussed, it will mark the final slam on all of the monkeys wetting themselves over "unauthorized" UnionPay swipes in the parking lots.
thanks for the share drjack. Bain is pretty bullish on WYNN's near term (we think WYNN's VIP mix will hurt them more than LVS reflected and certainly more than MPEL which has the most mass of the 4 U.S.listed companies, but looking forward to Steve's update/outlook tonight, particularly if he can confirm -- as LVS did -- that Xi is coming in december for the 150th anniversary celebration.
I see below our memory-impaired board girl matrixtrade still can't process info that we sold out the trade sleeve (basis below $34 back then) at $43 and explained why we were hedging the core (owned at $17) back to the 50d ema. LOL Stupidity is tragic, so is acting like a little girl on AOL with his new pal mytek/blacknite/idiotpumper/tahoe. He was funnier when he hyping MPEL getting to $75 this year, followed by his update that $21 was coming right up and with his delusion that we somehow give a flying rat's behind whether he "respects" us. What a putz. LOL
We still have the puts we wrote at $24 a couple weeks ago... we'll take that assignment. LOL
your comments reflect a comprehensive lack of knowledge of the company and VIP play.
Given what is happening with Premier Xi's corruption crackdown in Beijing (having nothing to do with corruption in Macau per se), MPEL is the best-positioned company in Macau, having their focus on the prestige end of mass play and guests who actually stay the weekend, go to shows, and have dinner in one of the high end restaurants. They also have the least reliance on VIP tours to generate their revenue stream (MPEL has a higher percentage of mass play to total than even LVS), and the best adj ebitda per table...
And no, MPEL is decidedly NOT the "low man on totem pole" [sic]... as VIP has dropped to a run rate of some 20% less YOY, MPEL is actually GAINING overall market share... and they already had significantl;y more share than did WYNN and MGM in Macau.
Stuff that in your bong and torch it over there...
Have a look at the Sep Q 13F filings -- fun if you are long. 20 of the top 25 Holders (incl 11 of the top 15) added shares during the Q, dwarfing sales of the top 25 MM.
Consider that during the Q this stock dropped hard from a high of $36 to $27 -- the low -- at the end of the Q. Seems we are not the only ones realizing that the sky is not falling on China or Macau, and that still some 80% of VIP GGR remains intact while mass is still growing YOY, that MPEL is better positioned than ANY OTHER Macau name, Manila is likely to generate more revenue than the ~$30m/Q opex cost of COD Manila (and might even have a little bit of ROIC on top of that? LOL) and that Beijing and Macau officials will soon be under increasing pressure to back off the bs witchunt, especially since the "corruption crackdown" reviews have yielded less than 1% (690) of some 75,000 suspects and politicians investigated through President Jinping's September report, and the political benefit of chasing the bad guys is soon going to collide with budget and spending cuts in and around Macau -- i.e., unless they soon wind up the witch hunt, tell citizenry it is okay to game in Macau (remember, half of house winnings are collected as tax revenue for Macau) the table allocations and all the rest.
So, prior to Xi's visit in December, might the recent $24 low get retested? It's possible, but fun to point out the stock (and the group) is rallying into the worst growth numbers in years in November and while all of the sellside analysts are throwing in their dirty towels now (shades of early Fall 2012 as said prior here), the reassuring (for other pm) 13Fs show all that there are literally dozens of serious buyside players doubling down or coming back onto the stock with vigor, and they will be buying all people will short to them... and those with offset shorts/hedges still on will pull them once the RIP higher gets going.
Have a good weekend longs. MPEL's RSI ought to be fun into the Feb report...
However, Macau’s casino industry will not be as reliant on these big spenders over coming years as it is commonly perceived. Analysis by Goldman Sachs shows that while 56% of gross revenues in 2014 are expected to come from the VIP segment, which is most affected by the crackdown, only 22% of earnings before interest tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) will come from this segment. Goldman expects that by 2016 less than 50% of revenues, and 16% of EBITDA, will come from the VIP market.
The expansion of ‘mass market’ gambling is likely to underwrite the earnings growth of Macau’s casinos. Many operators have adopted a ‘build it and they will come’ mentality by increasing the number of tables aimed at everyday players in the hope of attracting more Chinese tourists to visit Macau. Despite the cool chill of Beijing’s crackdown, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Macau grew 11% year-on-year in the third quarter.
The bid to attract more mass market players means an evolution in the experience that Macau will offer gamblers over coming years. This will see Macau become more like Las Vegas by developing integrated resorts, where customers can not only gamble but also enjoy other forms of entertainment. Eight integrated resorts under construction will double the casino operator’s hotel capacity over the next three years, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. The opening of the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge in 2016 will connect Macau directly to Hong Kong International Airport, while the expansion of border crossing operating hours, with the eventual goal of 24 hour border crossings, could help grow visitor numbers.
Henqin Island, in the Zhuhai Special Economic Zone and directly adjacent to Macau, is also ramping up non-gaming attractions which should draw more visitors...
We now have two days of the constrained link tape... that hasn't meant anything to trade in this group. But it is clear that Nov data to date is not showing any signs of improvement in GGR... Pansy said this week that the corruption crackdown is not a problem... Imagine that. She must be trying to make new friends in Beijing.
Hey drjack, hard to read much into a week of prelim data on mpel down ~1% share from overline trend 14% back to normal (12.8%) this week, WYNN dropping a point from 8.7% to 7.6% and MGM rising to 10.8 from 8%. Hard to say whether Pansy had Sun City over for a few days vs MPEL last week... but starting to look like a trend that WYNN is running soft on hurt VIP. Ex the WYNN effect, small changes in large VIP tour play or hold can easily swing the numbers around a bit like this.
As toast and you suggest, it is clear things are not geting better YET. Ho's take on turnaround sentiment/timing:
"things do change very quickly in China... Although I don't believe similar to the global financial crisis where there was a light switch event, this time around I do not think there is a light switch event.
But at the same time the anticorruption crackdown -- the way that has scared people and scared consumers, it's very much a physiological thing. So I think if you look at the European debt crisis or other crisis in the past I think the moment people get used to the concept of this being with us going forward I think people will spend again."
Altira repositioned to cater to large VIP operators and turnaround visible in 3q and fwd
"Sun City just started operation in September, middle of September [so it] just started to ramp up… not full speed ahead yet and we see some potential... our strategy is due to looking to more larger and quality turnkey operator, getting into Altira whereby we've already optimized some of the largely -- the table, VIP table in Altira already... next step is [bringing in big tours] you'll see improvement going fwd."
bump for those who missed Leong Tac's perspectives in this seminal article...
good to see this guy off to a GREAT start in terms of understaning Macau's "special edge/competence (gaming/leisure) and intellectual approach to encouraging development of more diversified offerings such as MPEL's Studio City and House of Dancing Water at COD.
Consistent with their comments from last week and the raise of rating/PT on MPEL Monday, today MS emphasizes the 2H15 GGR "recovery" theme (on Galaxy 2 and MPEL's Studio City (phase 1) openings on Cotai Studio) and WYNN's new Palace opening in another 15 months and so raises WYNN back to buy and increases the PT to $190, saying the stock is stupid oversold and #$%$ cheap. Who'da thunk that? LOL
As with MPEL's Packer and Ho view demonstrated by the serious share buyback activity (2% of outstanding shares in December alone on top of the 1% taken out at ~$27 in September) and the slew of 13F filers adding during the Sep Q and on through today, we agree with MS coming out of the naysayer group they joined (dropping their BUY rating and PT) in late July. LVS is cheap too, even MGM is cheap --but not compared to the MPEL, WYNN, LVS order on ebitda metrics.
For those worried about our trades (LOL), including the guy we know using 10 aliases to thumb his posts up and others' down, we blew out the LVS trade; MPEL is the only allocation again pending the 4Q updates.
Now you sound just like matrixputz. "Promoting?" Is that what suggesting some might want to sell or hedge some or all of their shares at $43 last january was? How about reloading the trading allocation at the $37-38 level for the run up into the double top retest in march where I explained why we sold out again there?
Your comments are thin here toast... I'm not "promoting" anything, more at sharing perspective with respect for all but those tools trying to dis me -- they deserve their share of kicks to the face.
fwiw, I have yet to cover the MGM hedge... there is lots of room for market chop, and anyone who has concerns about the downside here should have been hedging or sold out long ago. Down here, it is time for spec capital to get back to long or add to positions -- unless you think Xi Jinping wants to turn Macau into a ghost town ala Atlantic City... his new finance minister being sworn in on Friday has a far better outlook for Macau and its "edge" if you have been doing some remeidal reading shared here.