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  • How And Why A Las Vegas Sands/Wynn Resorts Merger Could Be The All Time Blockbuster In The Gaming Space [View article]
    A Wynn/LVS merger is a non-starter.

    While there are hardly 2 companies with synergies better suited for a combination, the reality is that both Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson have big egos and different management styles which would NEVER mesh.

    Adelson's a bottom-line guy who will sacrifice revenues for profits. Wynn's a top line guy who optimizes table revenues but squanders money on expenses.

    The facts behind what caused Wynn to lose control of Mirage resorts to Kirk Kerkorian would have NEVER happened to Adelson, because the cause was out of control expenses that Adelson has a penchant for maintaining strict control over.

    Finally, if any one name could ever remind Adelson of the reason not to hook up with Wynn, it's "Kazuo Okada".

    Wynn cheated Okada HORRIBLY when he pushed him out of Wynn and redeemed Okada's 20% stake in Wynn stock at a felonious discount to it's true value, IMO.
    Deep down inside, Wynn will resort to being a crook if he's pressured sufficiently...

    ... and that's something that Sheldon Adelson would be well advised to steer clear of, and just stick with the inter-corporate niceties that account for the current, intra-industry culture between them.

    Jul 16, 2015. 12:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Las Vegas Sands At Great Entry Point; Market Realizes Macau Downsides Baked Into Price [View article]
    If "hold percentage overrules it all", as you say, then maybe the fact that May's VIP hold percentage exceeded 3.3% would contribute to the notion that there was no "green shoot" in May. Channel checks are also suggesting a poor start to the first 7 days of June.

    Again... I'm not bearish on LVS... just realistic about the current state.
    There are extremely bullish, long-term trends in play in Macau that are very favorable to those with a long term view, and the intelligence to buy LVS at these levels.

    The development of Hengqin into a major, Orlando florida-like resort mecca, the bridge from Hong Kong, multiple high-speed, inter-city, and intra-city train lines being simultaneously built, tourism developments and promotional plans, including visa-free transit visas between Hong Kong and Macau to Hengqin.

    Then you have Morgan Stanley's expose' on the surge of Chinese wagering in Vegas, and it's overtones that suggest there's really no letup in wagering, but that they're just avoiding Macau for the time being.

    There are plenty of immensely positive things you could have pointed out without suggesting that we saw month-over-month improvement in gaming metrics that simply were not there.
    Jun 11, 2015. 03:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Las Vegas Sands At Great Entry Point; Market Realizes Macau Downsides Baked Into Price [View article]
    Regarding your inference that a 6% sequential increase in GGR from April to May, due to Galaxy II opening, is somehow a positive...

    ... nope.

    First of all, May had 31 days VS 30 days in April.

    Secondly, May included a Golden Week Holiday, whereas April had a couple weeks of the typically slow run-up to May's Golden Week.

    Thirdly, April had 4 Fridays and 4 Saturdays, while May had 5 Fridays and 5 Saturdays.

    When taking everything about May into account, I would certainly consider it to be WORSE than April, in spite of 5 days of operation by GalaxyII and Broadway.

    Further, channel checks in early May indicated an LVS GGR market share at ~28%, a share that settled in at the 26.5% that you reflect in your piece. While you attribute LVS's increase in May from April to a lack of serious competition from Galaxy II opening in May... I would suggest that LVS's late-month drop in market share reflects just the opposite from GalaxyII operating in just the last 5 days of the month.

    Don't get me wrong. I share your enthusiasm about LVS's future in Macau, but you need to curb your enthusiasm sufficiently to keep your portrayal of the positive arguments within the bounds of reality.

    Jun 10, 2015. 04:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Las Vegas Sands: High Yielder Has Put In A Bottom [View article]
    While I agree with your long-term potential assessment for LVS, in light of Japan, Hengqin Island, and the bridge from Hong Kong, to name a few, you failed to cite 2, important aspects of the recent earnings report that few analysts have not taken pains to point out.

    Firstly, LVS played "lucky", and if you "normalize" their 92 cent EPS result to reflect what it would have been with normal luck (eg: "hold"), the EPS would have been 85 cents.

    Further, LVS received a one-time, tax credit at their Singapore resort of $90 million that will not recur, and is not part of it's on-going operations. That amounts to a further overstatement of earnings of another 11 cents.

    So, with both of those factored in, LVS would have earned about 74 cents a share with ongoing operations and normal luck, or about 7 cents BELOW analysts expectations for the quarter.

    To see how generally accepted my addendum to your rosy article is, just look at how analysts have been revising their EPS projections for Q1 and Q2 of 2015 as a result of the Q4 "miss".

    Feb 10, 2015. 06:37 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More Trouble In China For Las Vegas Sands [View article]
    This is a very "reactionary" article, and is completely void of any projection of what the state of the macau gaming industry will be 6 to 12 months from now.

    Pure momentum logic. No contrarian value at all.
    Jan 8, 2015. 03:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Las Vegas Sands' Earnings [View article]
    Is seeking alpha going to provide a transcript of the earnings call like they usually do?
    Oct 16, 2014. 02:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Transocean Partners Files S1/A In Anticipation Of IPO [View article]
    Put off as long as they can?

    Wasn't it less than 18 months ago that RIG jettisoned a ton of older jackups for less than a $billion?

    Aren't they spinning off 7 or 8, older semis into a new entity specific to drilling the North Sea?

    And now you've got this MLP.

    That's not "putting off", my friend. That's a very rapid evolution of this company.

    Between all these deals on the one hand, and the cost cutting initiatives on the other, I see this company transitioning itself VERY rapidly, and view it as the same kind of excellent turn-around, contrarian play that Icahn himself views it as.

    Jul 23, 2014. 12:46 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Las Vegas Sands: Downside Risks Are Largely Priced In [View article]
    Your point (cars) is well taken, but when the first, new gaming licenses were bid back in 2001, everybody thought that the Cotai landfill would be an industrial area and that there wasn't enough room downtown to build enough new resorts.

    I can also envision a lot of buses commuting between coati and Hong Kong International Airport.

    Regarding "punters not visiting", while it's true that world cup certainly had a pronounced impact during the run of those games, the general weakness in patronage was due to uncertainty surrounding junket credit/compliance, Union Pay terminals, and Visa restrictions.

    Remember that it's typical in China for governments to make policy proclamations without specifics, then only clarify the peculiarities of the policy(s) to fine-tune their impacts, particularly when the impacts are different from their intentions.

    For example, Union Pay curtailments were initially announced without specifics in May, but it was only when uncertainty surrounding how those curtailments would be carried out began to impact gaming patronage that Francis Tam provided specifics that would ease the negative impact of that uncertainty (eg: his comments that existing, legal, terminals would be un-affected).

    Now that some of the uncertainty surrounding those policy initiatives is alleviated in the wake of the world cup games, patronage to macau should pick up, just as it did in the months following the installation of the new Chinese Leadership back in late 2012 when people slowly learned that the new leadership's bark was worse than it's bite.

    Jul 21, 2014. 05:11 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Las Vegas Sands: Downside Risks Are Largely Priced In [View article]
    You mention 2, primary growth factors anticipated over the next 5 years... Parisian and Japan.

    I would mention 2 more:

    First, the bridge linking Hong Kong to Macau is a major factor. It's construction will be completed in 2016 or 2017. It will effectively make the auto commute from Hong Kong International Airport to Macau just as convenient as the commute from the airport to downtown Hong Kong currently is, and MUCH shorter and more convenient than the ferries currently are.

    Macau's airport handled about 4.5 million passengers last year, whereas Hong Kong International handled nearly 60 million passengers. The bridge to Macau essentially departs Hong Kong Island right from the International Airport.

    Secondly, is the explosion of development on Hengqin Island, which is relatively undeveloped Island just across the Lotus Bridge from Macau's Cotai Strip.

    The master plan for Hengqin is to virtually transform it into the Chinese equivalent of Orlando Florida. The resulting Hengqin/Macau combination should thus become the world's largest, total entertainment geography over the next 5 to 10 years. The recently completed Chimelong resort complex was the first of what will be many, Leisure-oriented, mega-resorts to be constructed on Hengqin.

    More than 98% of the Chinese population has never visited Macau. Look for the Hong Kong bridge and the development of Hengqin Island to dramatically change that statistic.

    Jul 21, 2014. 02:28 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Las Vegas Sands - Macao Slowdown Is Evident In Second Quarter Results [View article]
    You state: "reliance on Macau is a main reason to be cautious"... huh?

    LVS dominates in Macau... and last I checked, Caesars and Boyd and Genting... etc. would give their RIGHT ARMS for an opportunity to set up gaming resorts in Macau.

    LVS dominates on Cotai... and last I checked, MGM, Wynn, SJM... etc. are CLAMBORING to get new gaming resorts set up out there.

    And you say LVS's macau dominance is a reason to be cautious? Do you know something that all those LVS wannabes DON'T?

    Jul 17, 2014. 12:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bank Of America Earnings Update: It Beats Estimates But Does That Matter? [View article]
    Eric Holder is a Socialist Crook.

    I own a sizable position in BAC, and as far as I'm concerned, the company has my blessing to fight that money-grabbing crook right up to the day he is replaced after the 2016 election.

    The money that DOJ has extracted from Citi and JPMorgan has gone into accounts that have NO ACCOUNTABILITY. VERY LITTLE of it goes to the so-called people who were hurt during the financial crisis, and most of THOSE people were fund and trust managers who knew EXACTLY what they were buying.

    This whole anti-corporation, anti-bank crusade that Obama and Holder are running represents Everything we NEVER wanted to see America Become.

    I say fight those SOBs all the way to the supreme court, if that's what it takes.
    I'm proudly long BAC.

    Jul 16, 2014. 11:50 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Algorithmic Forecast Is Bullish On Las Vegas Sands [View article]
    Pretty well written, but not without errors.

    Most glaring was your quote: "Macao alone provides LVS with just over 80% of its overall sales" in your first paragraph. Singapore and the U.S. provide much more than 20% of LVS's revenue, my friend.

    Interesting that you would view MGM as LVS's "prime competitor"... apparently in the competition for Japanese gaming resorts. I would view Genting, Galaxy, Melco and Wynn as more viable competitors when it comes to winning Japanese gaming licenses, as each of those companies has a better record of meeting the likely requirements Japan will seek for style, liquidity, and compliance. MGM doesn't have the horrible balance sheet that Caesars has, but it isn't exactly peerless in the wake of their struggles to open Citycenter in Vegas during the Great Recession, either. While MGM has been EBITDA positive for awhile now, they've only got a couple of quarters under their belt with EPS that's colored in black ink.

    Jul 9, 2014. 12:46 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Grab Las Vegas Sands On Irrational Negative Sentiment [View article]
    I wouldn't sweat the reduction in length of stay on transit visas much. A VERY small percentage of visitors stay in Macau longer than 5 days anyway.

    The impact will be much greater on Chinese VIP Junket agents, who typically prefer to stay 7 to 9 days while interleaving multiple VIP clients' visits over a set stretch of time.

    As the junkets have been more the purveyors of laundering and capital flight activities than anyone, this restriction will serve to constrict the time within which they can conduct transactions, and focus a higher percentage of their time in Macau on seeing to the whims of their clients.

    Jun 20, 2014. 01:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Las Vegas Sands Should Continue To Rebound [View article]
    They HAD to purchase more than $75 million per month, or the company would have significantly ADDED shares to the outstanding float.

    What the company needs to do is to reign in it's extravagant issuance of shares and options. Adelson has a lot going for him, but he needs to stop playing Santa Claus to his inner circle and adhere more to corporate norms.

    Jun 20, 2014. 01:25 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Seadrill, Transocean, And Ensco: 3 Offshore Drillers Ready For A Rebound [View article]
    Transocean is, by far, the company that is most dramatically "remaking" itself.
    I mention this because of your comment about increasing debt being related to future EBITDA...

    ... the same could be true about a company that is reorganizing at the magnitude that Transocean is.

    RIG sold of most of it's old jackups last year for just under $1 billion.
    This year, RIG is spinning off 8 of it's oldest floaters in the north sea.
    The 14 newbuild rigs, combined with the old rigs being disposed of, is DRAMATICALLY modernizing Transocean's fleet.

    Meanwhile, the company is significantly reducing expenses.

    I think the main catalyst for such a dramatic re-making of Transocean is Carl Icahn's involvement. The shake-ups in both the boardroom, AND the executive suite (including the CEO) reflect all of the new thinking going on at Transocean.

    Thus, transocean is my #1 "turn-around, contrarian" play. They will likely emerge from all this as the leanest, and meanest, player in the space.

    Jun 19, 2014. 04:52 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment