Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) which operates the Venetian in Las Vegas, the Venetian Macau, and Marina Bay Sands in Singapore has some of the most entertaining conference calls that I’ve read.
Usually, conference calls are supposed to be extremely formal, mainly because executives can get in a lot of trouble if they make any remarks that mislead investors. Lawyers refer to these as material misstatements or omissions (think Enron).
I recently made a small purchase in Las Vegas Sands (LVS) after reading several of their conference calls and the most recent 10-K. LVS is more or less an Asian company now, with the majority of their earnings and future growth coming from their properties in Macau and Singapore.
Here are some of the highlights of the call.
Sheldon makes sure that analysts are listening for dramatic effect — I love the arrogance of Sheldon Adelson in this portion. Readers need to listen to the audio of the conference call for the full effect:
Let me now give some commentary on our specific property operations. I’ll start in Singapore, where Marina Bay Sands recorded a whopping $405 million in adjusted property EBITDA. While I believe the ramp-up process is still ongoing in Singapore, Marina Bay Sands generated net revenue of $738 million and an EBITDA margin — are you listening? — 55%. Just want to make sure you heard it.
Adelson brings up the 55% EBITDA margin again in response to a question about Singapore’s future growth:
Sheldon Adelson: We know, but we can’t say. But what I want to say is that when you think about the possibility, Singapore’s only been opened for a little more than a year, both properties. And to think that we’ve saturated the entire market of like 3 billion people within the market radius is not credible thought. There’s no way that we’ve saturated the market, just no way. And the more that people get to learn by word of mouth that Singapore is the place to go, we don’t have to tell them Singapore’s the place to go, but it’s now the place to go to gamble. It’s the place to go for tourism. It’s the place to go for conventions. And Singapore is now no longer known as a stuffy, conservative place. Nobody’s making jokes about chewing gum. But everybody’s talking about what great restaurants there are, what a good time you can have when you go to Singapore, what a great destination it is for both FIT and convention. And I don’t see — there’s nobody who can convince me that we’ve even touched the area of saturation of the market. I think Singapore is going to continue to grow and grow and grow. By the way, Robin, did you hear the 55% number?
Robin Farley – UBS Investment Bank: I heard. I noticed that, yes.
And some entertaining banter in the closing remarks:
Sheldon Adelson: Well, we got to adjust that budget because we have to send out our towels. We’re afraid of our towels that we sent out to people who get egg on their face because they run projections. We got to send them out to almost every analyst in the street. Ken, can we fit that in the budget?
Robert Goldstein: We’ve got plenty left over.
Sheldon Adelson: And if you need changes in billion [ph], give my wife a call.
Conference calls are usually pretty dry, but I quite enjoyed listening to this one, but this comes no where close to topping the impersonator who somehow managed to get on conference calls and ask random questions to CEOs of companies.
Returning to the topic at hand, I strongly recommend investors to listen to the conference calls of companies that they follow. Seeking Alpha is the best source out there for free conference call transcripts for most companies.