Melco Resorts Tops Earnings Expectations, Quarterly Income Totals $1.36B
Posted on: May 8, 2019, 10:09h.
Last updated on: May 8, 2019, 10:09h.
Melco Resorts beat Wall Street expectations in the first quarter of 2019, as the casino operator reported $1.36 billion in revenue – or $0.28 per share. That’s a 3.72 percent increase on the same three-month period in 2018.
The general consensus among financial analysts predicted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.25. It’s the fourth consecutive quarter that the casino operator with properties in Macau, the Philippines, and soon Cyprus has beat Wall Street expectations.
Melco’s solid earnings delivery in the first quarter was a reflection of the company’s high-quality earnings mix with less than 10 percent … contributed by the VIP segment. And while the Macau VIP market continues to experience volatility, the mass market gaming has remained robust,” Melco CEO Lawrence Ho told investors.
Despite the higher EPS, net income fell 25 percent to $117.35 million. Along with its January through March financial performance, the company announced a $0.1551 quarterly dividend per share traded on NASDAQ.
Melco Resorts began construction on its $617 million City of Dreams Mediterranean last month in Cyprus. Once complete, the casino measuring 80,000 square feet with 1,000 slot machines and 100 table games will be the largest gaming venue in all of Europe.
Pleasing Macau Masses
Ho – a billionaire who is one of Macau founding father Stanley Ho’s 17 children – has remained bullish on Macau despite a slowdown in VIP play that resulted in China President Xi Jinping’s suppression of junket groups.
The Melco Resorts founder said last year, “The previous 2013-2014 cycle was led by VIP business. As operators, that’s the lowest margin business. Whereas this time around, it’s really both mass and VIP.”
Ho added during this week’s investor call, “The market-wide mass gaming stream combined with Melco’s solid market share performance and strong focus on cost control allows for resilient margins.” The CEO said the goal is to further deemphasize the VIP segment to better position the company for further anticipated mass growth.
By the Numbers: 2019 Q1 Revenue
Las Vegas Sands: $3.65 billion
MGM Resorts: $3.2 billion
Caesars Entertainment: $2.12 billion
Melco Resorts: $1.36 billion
SJM Holdings: $1.1 billion
Melco is one of six license holders in Macau, the world’s richest gambling hub. The others are Sands, MGM, Wynn, Galaxy, and SJM. Galaxy and Wynn haven’t yet unveiled their Q1 performances.
As is the case with all of the aforementioned casino operators, Melco Resorts is betting heavily on landing one of Japan’s three forthcoming integrated resort licenses. Ho says the emerging market is the most attractive global prospect outside of Macau.
We believe we are well placed in Japan with a strong local team actively working on the ground engaging with the relevant stakeholders,” Ho declared.
Ho added that Japan is the company’s “single most important initiative” in 2019 and beyond.
Sands and MGM are thought to be the frontrunners for license in Japan. Ho conceded that MGM’s partnership with Orix, a Japanese financial services firm, “puts them (MGM) in a very good position.”