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Wynn 4Q profit down but revenue beats

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Wynn Resorts Ltd.'s fourth-quarter performance slipped due to tax expenses and weaker revenue from China, but the casino operator managed to beat Wall Street's revenue forecast.

The company, led by billionaire casino impresario Steve Wynn, is running counter to industry trends. Its business in the U.S. is improving, while its growth in the Asian gambling hub of Macau is slowing.

Meanwhile, its competitors are doing so well overseas that they are shifting the bulk of their focus to China. Las Vegas Sands Corp. reported Wednesday that its net income jumped 35 percent, fueled by revenue growth in Macau, which is the largest gambling market in the world and the only place where gambling is legal in China.

Wynn reported after the stock market closed Thursday that it earned $111.4 million, or $1.10 per share, for the quarter that ended Dec. 31. That is down from $190.5 million, or $1.52 per share, earned in the same quarter of the prior year. The company was weighed down by $47.9 million increase in tax expenses due to the timing of dividend payments from Macau and other items. After adjusting for this, it earned $1.17 per share versus $1.55 per share.

Its total revenue fell to $1.29 billion from $1.34 billion. This was driven by a 9.7 percent decline in Macau operations that was partially offset by a 12.1 percent increase in revenue from its Las Vegas operations.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting Wynn to earn $1.25 per share on revenue of $1.27 billion.

The company, based in Las Vegas, runs Wynn Las Vegas and Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. It also operates Wynn Macau casino resort and Encore at Wynn Macau resort in China.

Its shares slipped $1.07 cents to $124.15 in after-hours trading following the release of the earnings report.