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.
Last Friday the company made the announcement below, following which, under the HK listing rules, they will be able to resume repurchasing shares with the residual $200m or so left under the first $500m authorization they issued last year. No one should be surprised to see MPEL spend that $200m soon after the meeting is adjourned... because they are assuredly considering re-upping the program with an additional $500m or so authorization to be approved by shareholders of record as of April 2 for this year's annual general meeting to be held another several weeks from then.
NOTICE OF BOARD MEETING
APPROVING FINAL RESULTS
This announcement is made pursuant to Rule 13.43 of the Rules Governing the Listing of Securities
on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited.
Melco Crown Entertainment Limited (the “Company”) announces that a meeting of the board
of directors of the Company will be held on March 25, 2015 (Wednesday) for the purpose of,
among other matters, considering and approving the audited final results of the Company and its
subsidiaries for the year ended December 31, 2014.
Some new joiners to the "turn is here" parade -- 5 published reports this saying that things are now on the mend in Macau and china citizenry sentiment on the economy is improving.
BBN issued this article too.
Jan 27, 2015
Macau casino shares jumped in Hong Kong trading after gaming revenue in the world’s biggest gambling hub gained last week, which analysts took as a sign the industry may be out of its free-fall of late last year.
The industry’s gross gaming revenue for table games rose 6 percent for the week ending Jan. 25 from a week earlier, which “could further indicate stabilization” after President Xi Jinping’s Macau visit last month, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts led by Billy Ng wrote in a note. The measure still fell 7 percent compared with a year ago.
Xi’s visit coincided with government efforts that included plans to crackdown on illicit funds funneled through Macau amid his anti-graft campaign, leading to seven straight months of declines that peaked at a 30 percent plunge in December. Union Gaming analyst Grant Govertsen upgraded the sector to a buy rating yesterday, writing that evidence is mounting “that we’ve finally reached the bottom,” and Macau gaming names “are poised for a rally”.
Shares of Wynn Macau Ltd. (1128) jumped 8.4 percent to end at HK$21.90 by the close of trading, the biggest increase since last April. MGM China Holdings Ltd. (2282) and Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. (27) both gained 6.5 percent, Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (MPEL) was up 5.6 percent, and Sands China Ltd. (1928) increased 3 percent. The benchmark Hang Seng index fell 0.4 percent.
The Bloomberg Intelligence Macau (China) Gaming Market Index slumped almost 40 percent last year, amid policies that included restrictions on the use of UnionPay’s debit cards at casinos, making it harder for bettors to buy pricey items that they exchange for cash to gamble with. The index closed 1.8 percent higher yesterday, and gained a further 5.9 perce
February 16, 2015 8:13 am·
hotelviewAccording to the information revealed by the head of the Philippine Amusement Gaming Corp, Cristino Naguiat, the local gambling sector is going to experience further development and become even more competitive on a global scale.
What made the PAGCOR official so convinced of the revival of the Philippines’ gambling segment was the increased number of VIP players attracted by the junket operators.
The chairman of PAGCOR expressed his hopes that the local gambling sector is likely to undergo “another double-digit growth”. Apart from the success achieved by junket operators another key factor for the rapid growth of the casino industry is the opening of the mega resort City of Dreams, managed by Melco Crown Resorts Corp.
An important specification has to be taken into consideration, though. Despite the optimistic prognosis, the Philippines gambling industry is not as well-developed as the Singaporean one.
However, it is developing with a tremendous speed, while the neighboring gambling hubs keep reporting problematic revenues and decline of players.
In comparison, Macau-based casinos have been reporting decline over the last couple of months, while the Philippines reported an increase equal to 16% YOY.
In addition, the VIP and the junket players visiting the Philippines-based casino venues increased by 50% in one year.
Despite the fact that the Philippines casinos are thriving, while the majority of neighboring venues are declining, it does not mean that the venues are going to operate without being pressed by the competition. It is a well-known fact that the South Korean and Vietnamese gambling markets are fast developing as well.
Yet, City of Dreams Manila is expected to make the region a well-attended and appealing to players in spite of the rivalry.
The expectations for the next few years are the gaming revenues to go beyond US$4 bi
goog title for yesterday's L A Times article and photos of COD -- this thread was deleted too? great service this yhoo. LOL
If your idea of a "dream city" includes a massive gambling casino, a Nobu Hotel and nightclubs developed by Michael Ault, head to the Philippines.
That's where you'll find City of Dreams, a casino-entertainment resort created by Melco Crown Entertainment in Manila that opened Tuesday. Fireworks, celebrities (Kelly Rowland and Ne-Yo walked the red carpet) and high rollers of the corporate kind welcomed guests to the new $1-billion site.
Ne-Yo performs Tuesday at the opening of City of Dreams Manila. (Graham Uden / PR Newswire)
The mega-casino's sleek glass towers surround a huge golden egg, called the Fortune Egg, which creators hope will become a city landmark.
City of Dreams in Parañaque along Roxas Boulevard is part of a much bigger Entertainment City that's intended to go up against popular global gambling venues such as Macau, Singapore and Las Vegas. When completed, it will feature four casino complexes.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Philippines' gaming agency predicts gambling revenues of $10 billion a year by the end of the decade -- outpacing Las Vegas and Singapore.
Back to City of Dreams. The egg will house two nightclubs, Pangaea (there are several, including one in Singapore) and Chaos.
There's an entertainment bar with live performances on the casino floor, three hotels -- Crown Towers, Nobu Hotel and Hyatt City of Dreams Manila -- and dining options from Nobu as well as the Crystal Dragon, which specializes in Chinese dishes to woo top gamblers from China.
Shopping runs to luxury brands such as Hugo Boss, Montblanc, Rolex and Roberto Cavalli. An interactive entertainment play space designed by DreamWorks will open later this year.
Info: Dream City
Two more points...
Even dismissing the offline/refurb parts of the WYNN property down on the Penninsular (they have no Cotai property until the Palace opens mid 2016 they say now) ,those with a little bit of comprehension of the difference between WYNN.LVS and MPEL's business plans and execution last year certainly expected WYNN to fare poorly vs LVS given that the vast brunt of the GGR drop has been from the smaller junkets getting clobbered out of business or going where they have less scrutiny over their operations and clients, and the chilling effects the noise and corruption crackdowns on macau have had on VIP play there.
On this note, MPEL's COD on Cotai is the only company that ran at 100% occupancy throughout 2014, with a 30-40% average turnaway rate. We also know they have continued to further de-emphasize VIP at COD, meaning that the VIP slowdown has crimped MPEL's overall revenue and, far more importantly, overall ebitda far less than WYNN and even LVS. Old news, but MPEL likely ran on the order of 90% of its ebitda from mass and adjusted (for smoking rooms) premium mass play (direct credit players).
Looking forward to more color on COD manila come Thursday too... Ho has said a few things the analyst community is not yet taking note of, including that COD Manila is "already exceeding our expectations" and that he expects Manila overall to exceed the Philippine gaming regulator's forecast of GGR for 2016 and that COD Manila will add more than another 1/3+ to that baseline forecast. Do your own math on what that means to MPEL, but if Ho is correct, every analyst out there will be increasing their estimates for COD MPEL before long...
host deleted the original post without a link? goofy
Goog title in quotes to see a great article from bloomberg discussing why MPEL's billionaire CEO and his co chairman Packer (another billionaire) are telling the world COD Manila is poised to be a whole lot more successful than the street is modeling so far -- for 2015, but particularly in 2016.
In the article, Ho shares that he thinks MPEL "could get to profitable this year" (2015). That is big big news for MPEL. Those doing any kind of modeling should begin to figure out that means they see significantly more ebitda than any publishing analyst is modeling for Manila, as that means they see sufficient revenue coming to cover non-cash items, the big opex number and debt carry as well as gaming taxes and the partnership sharing. Ho also shares the brightening framework for what he thinks the property can do for 2016... great stuff.
For longs, it should be fun to hear some details on this topic on the earnings call update next week .
Also see the new articles from the LA Times and the Manila paper today. Great stuff about: "it's more fun here" [in Manila because taxes are significantly less than in Macau, says Lawrence.
In December, following the 3rd Q results and without the need for BOD review/approval of audited annual results, MPEL repurchased some $300m of stock beginning at $26 all the way down to $21 and back up to $24+ before fading the program for the Q.
Assuming a typical release for the March Q in the first week of May, based on MPEL's activity in the 4th Q it is likely no coincidence that they will have something like 10 calendar days to repurchase shares between tomorrow's scheduled "approval of audited final results" for the year ended 12/31/14 before the 30 day safe harbor blackout period begins in the runup to earnings in early May.
Delightful to think the morons shorting are selling to the company which is controlled by two young billionaires (Packer and Ho) controlling 68%+ of the company...and on their way to more as the HK constriction of at least 25% public float is blown off.
SunCity and two other large, quality junkets just opened their new VIP salons at Altira, but neither MPEL nor any of these junket players have suggested they are "moving over" to COD Manila; instead, they are adding new VIP rooms to the newly opened COD Manila. Check out the recent information shared by MPEL regarding room counts and tables in use so far... they exclude the 300 VIP suites there and it appears the VIP tables are not yet in operation, at least not in full scale.
The comapny has told the street MPEL's new VIP facilities at COD manila will open 2Q, so that will indeed be a substantial bump boost for overall resort GR and overall activity. All of Packer and Ho's connectivity will soon be dialed in... and so will Sy's pals and all of his billionaire offsprings' friends from around the globe as their collective interests in and around Manila Bay will be under development for the next 10 years or so at least... including COD's expansion phase and all of the surrounding commercial, residential and military base come together.
il China.org.cn, March 6, 2015
Adjust font size:
A mainland administrator is defending the development of the gaming industry in Macao during China's ongoing annual legislative session.
Photo courtesy of Joumal de Macau]
Li Gang, director of the Liaison Office of the central government in Macao.[Photo courtesy Macao Evening]
"Macao should not seek a diversified economy at the expense of the gaming industry," said Li Gang, director of the Liaison Office of the central government in Macao, while attending a group discussion at the third plenary session of the 12th National People's Congress on March 5 in Beijing.
Macao is the only Chinese territory where gambling is allowed. The Macao Special Administrative Region generated more than US$450 billion in gambling revenue in 2013, about seven times the gambling revenue of Las Vegas.
The city, however, has witnessed a sharp decline in its pillar industry since June 2014. The revenue of the gaming industry decreased by 2.6 percent throughout 2014, the first decline since the city liberalized the industry in 2002. According to Li, revenue growth in the industry decreased by 17.4 percent this January and by 48.6 percent in February relative to the same periods last year.
The central government has encouraged the SAR to pursue "appropriately diversified and sustainable economic development," but Li said it may take 20 to 30 years or even longer for the city to build such an economy. There is no point in being overly worried by the transformation, he added.
Li Gang attributed the decline in the gambling industry to the slowdown in China's economic growth, which has discouraged mainland business owners from frequenting the casinos, especially their VIP halls. New and tighter regulations on passports, bank cards and customs inspection have contributed to the decline. The shock to the city's opaque casino junket system caused and evid
several additional quotes emphasizing the new Beijing sentiment toward macau here... the clarion bell is ringing in Beijing -- "suddenly" they get that sending Macau's GGR to other countries venues is a really dumb idea. Beijing and macau officials now need to take policy actions and change the rhetoric so that more than just the wealthy Chinese patrons that never stopped playing in Macau (some 75% of peak play from 2014) return to macau as the venue of choice. Fret not about COD manila though, as Ho says, the key play there will continue to be local Philippinos, but also high end Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean gamblers.
Mainland administrator defends Macao's gaming industry (part 2)
The central government [Beijing] has encouraged the SAR to pursue "appropriately diversified and sustainable economic development," but Li said "it may take 20 to 30 years or even longer for the city to build such an economy. There is no point in being overly worried by the transformation," he added.
Li Gang attributed the decline in the gambling industry to the slowdown in China's economic growth, which has discouraged mainland business owners from frequenting the casinos, especially their VIP halls. New and tighter regulations on passports, bank cards and customs inspection have contributed to the decline. The shock to the city's opaque casino junket system caused and evidenced by the disappearance of a middle man named Huang Shan, who vanished along with a colossal US$13 billion last April, was also to blame.
Li admitted that the sweeping anti-corruption campaign on the Chinese mainland had also contributed to the industry's sluggish performance, but he believed it was "not the major reason."
Li nonetheless said that the slowdown's pressure on the gambling industry has provided the city with an opportunity to transform its economic structure and pursue diversified development In the future.
p.s. someone ought to send this Chinese paper a correction email -- the amount in the third to last paragraph s/b $1.3B, NOT "a colossal $13B." And that fraudster guy who stole the money from the junket may never be found; Beijing's targets have a way of "mysteriously" disappearing, though China's security forces likely already recovered the money.
goog title without the quotes for the PR video aired yesterday.
Then, goog the title below for a piece on some of the Grand Opening entertainment yesterday.
IN PHOTOS: Ne-Yo, Kelly Rowland in Manila for City of Dreams launch
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.
LOL dthe98 multialias dude suggests WYNN missed by 40 cents. The relevant number was $1.20 adj vs consensus of $1.43. So, a superficial analysis would suggest they "missed" by $.23, not his wango $.40. And btw, they beat on revenue if you can imagine that. This clown also suggests that WYNN's "big miss" indicates MPEL will miss badly... then, of course, anyone who can read, listen and think will come to a different conclusion. Glad he (likely his unregistered fund boss) is short both.
Wynn's market share in Macau has run at about 10%, but they have long been very reliant on VIP play, and so have been hurt more than most companies -- and a LOT more than MPEL which has best in group mass gaming concentration, driving some 85% of MPEL ebitda in the Sep quarter for example (likely better than that Q4 as VIP fell in macau), better than LVS touting its 80% for the fourth quarter. Both MPEL and LVS are WAY ahead of WYNN on this metric.
Those listening to prior and this call of WYNN's also know they have been refurbishing their west casino and many former VIP suites over to deluxe mass suites. This has helped them transfer an additional 40 tables from VIP to mass, increase their revpar (contrast with LVS 90% occupancy levels and low ADR) and put up a 26% increase in "mid level mass" (so not grind mass and not so called "premium"/direct credit players they say) in January, going a long way to offsetting their VIP play plummeting by 40% YOY. Read that again if not clear -- they say their mass was up some 26% in january YOY.
In the prevailing Macau environment, MPEL's multiyear fade away from VIP to increasingly emphasize "premium end of mass" is entirely likely to continue to benefit them in terms of market share (running at 15%), retaining best in group GR/table and adj ebitda, overall table game win rates (i.e., less VIP than others in relative terms) and so gross and operating margins.
Listen to the call -- Steve sounds guarded, but not down.
As noted last night, against the backdrop of all the ridiculously negative press and "jonny come lately" negatively slanted analysts reports (on "plummeting VIP" (9 of the 10 largest still operating all but 3 rooms LOL), the late summer '14 corruption crackdown/Zhou arrest in late July, Ho's reset of mass expectations to half the run rate of 1H as told in Aug '14, Jinping's Dec visit, smoking ban bs, it was good to see LVS offer up less than disastrous update last night, and remain "uber bullish" on the future of mass/premium mass in Macau...
I pointed out a few less than flattering aspects of the results (lucky holds and solid Singapore results made to look really good by the obscured property tax credit incl in "ebitda" verbiage until they came clean at the end of Q&A and then only when asked?) , but still good to see less than awful results. Shel dissing MPEL's HODW and saying they are the best on ebitda (in total, not relative to ROIC/footprint) was also pointed out as Shel's being out of touch a bit, but that is not new either.
Good to see LVS get to 80% of adj. ebitda in macau from mass play -- ironic that they call that best in the group; apparently they don't realize MPEL was up to 85% on that metric for the Sep Q and will no doubt be even moreso now given that VIP is down hard 4Q yoy (adj for premium mass playing in VIP rooms for smoking purposes).
MPEL should also look "best in class" on occupancy as they have run at 100% (30-40% turnaway rate) since March Q2014. COD has had better ADR/revpar too -- without the comp promos LVS concedes they are now doing to fill rooms.
Singapore doing decent on VIP is also an important note... seems some RC players will travel a bit further than Macau to play. Maybe that is part of what MPEL was alluding to when Ho said the 300 or so VIP suites at COD Manila was "not enough to meet demand." Macau really does need to think through whether they want all that biz to go elsewhere, but MPEL and LVS are all set if so.
goog that title to read more about why Lui han was a big tiger... but his connectivity the biggest "tiger" as the real target of Xi Jinping, is telling. Former national Security Minister Zhou being the BIG BIG target of Xi Jinping's corruption crackdown. And for all the dip #$%$ media and analysts regurgitating their nonsense about Macau being the target of the "tigers and flies" corruption witch hunt and also the "foxhunt" running down billionaires the PRC is chasing around the world to get back the allegedly stolen money they "illicitly transferred" away from China, give a good hard read to the articles in the WSJ, FT, Guardian and The Economist on "execution of Lui Han" over the last two days. Some may appreciate, as we do, the fact that those real publications writing about the execution yesterday and the pursuit of Zhou and his lesser cronies has no mention at all of Macau or gambling per se being the issue that Beijing is hunting. Rather, the focus here is all about murder, conspiracy, subversion, other violent crimes and extortion/blackmail, and weapons charges as well as defrauding the PRC and stealing the people's wealth. Well, one of the articles does point out that Lui Han was infamous for flaunting his mink coats and exotic cars and fancy dining habits.
Some of the long time readers here may enjoy that focus as much as we do... and the reality that Macau is being rendered a whistle clean place for tourists to visit grandeur, entertainment and luxurious relaxation, shopping, dining and recreation -- and MPEL is leading the charge on meaningful "diversification" with Studio City.
The optimistic forecast of Mr. Naguiat comes at a critical moment for the Asian gambling sector. Last month, the Chinese President announced that he is going to intensify the anti-corruption campaign, which is believed to be among the main reasons for the issues that have befallen the Asian gambling sector.
However, the head of PAGCOR announced that the local gambling sector will continue developing regardless of the complicated situation in China because the Philippines’ gambling market does not rely solely on the Chinese players in order to generate a stable income.
In conclusion, Mr Naguiat said that the more Chinese players come to the Philippines-based casinos, the better but the local gambling officials are hopeful that they will attract foreigners from all over Asia.
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.