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Revenue rebounds, losses narrow for Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Updated July 21, 2021 - 5:49 pm

Las Vegas Sands Corp. won’t look the same to Las Vegans once a $6.25 billion deal with two companies closes later this year.

But executives of the company that eventually will relinquish operation of The Venetian, Palazzo and Sands Expo Center are comfortable with their decision to focus on Macao, Singapore and emerging domestic markets in the United States.

Chairman and CEO Rob Goldstein told investors Wednesday that investing and reinvesting in properties in Macao and Singapore will drive the company’s future. Goldstein said Macao is a proven commodity and the company is comfortable in its position there, even as the renewal of licenses in Macao looms in 2022.

Sands, the market leader in Macao, has seen minor visitation and revenue improvements so far this year in the same way that the U.S. gaming market has been rallying.

Wilfred Wong, president of Sands China Ltd., the Sands subsidiary that operates in Macao, told investors on a conference call Wednesday that discussions on license renewals in Macao would likely start up in the fall after a Sept. 12 legislative council election there.

Meanwhile, Sands reported improved second quarter revenue and narrowed losses.

The company reported a net loss of $139 million, 30 cents per share, on revenue of $1.173 billion in the quarter that ended June 30. That compares with a net loss of $757 million, 88 cents per share, on revenue of $62 million in the same quarter in 2020.

“We remain enthusiastic about the opportunity to welcome more guests back to our properties as greater volumes of visitors are eventually able to travel to Macao and Singapore,” Goldstein said.

The company announced in March that a partnership will be taking over operations of the company’s Las Vegas properties later this year.

New York-based Apollo Global Management Inc., which is partnering with Vici Properties Inc., to buy The Venetian, Palazzo and the Sands Expo Center for $6.25 billion, would own the cash flow of operations and pay Vici rent once the deal closes in the fourth quarter.

Sands indicated it plans to investigate the prospect of new domestic developments. The company already has acknowledged interest in the New York, Texas and Florida markets.

Sands also plans to increase development of business-to-business digital products. Earlier this month, the company announced it is building a digital gaming investment team to be led by Davis Catlin, formerly of Arlington, Virginia-based Sands Capital Management, which is unaffiliated with Las Vegas Sands.

The digital investment will run parallel to the company’s plans to seek new locations to develop integrated casino resorts. A team of lobbyists Sands hired in Texas failed to convince legislators in that state to draft bills to legalize gambling and authorize integrated resorts across the state.

Goldstein acknowledged that the company “dipped our toe in the water” in Florida when it donated $17 million to a Florida political committee seeking ballot access on gaming and casino-related initiatives in that state.

Goldstein said despite the huge cash inflow at the end of the year, the company has no desire to return to compete to build an integrated resort in Japan.

Las Vegas Sands shares climbed 3.4 percent, $1.64, Wednesday in above-average volume to close at $49.42 a share. After hours, trading was trending downward by the same 3.4 percent.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Dr. Miriam Adelson, the majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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