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  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 04:52 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Las Vegas Sands: Searching For The Bottom In Macau Stocks [View article]
    3, important, long-term drivers of value in Sand's stock are being lost in the current swoon that is resulting from credit and money-flow fears:

    First, there is the future of Hengqin Island, which is just across the Lotus Bridge from Cotai, where Sands dominates. Hengqin is undergoing a massive evolution from a relatively un-used island, to a major entertainment and leisure destination. It's impact on driving ever-increasing, mass market patrons into the region is substantially under-appreciated by Macau centric gaming investors.

    Secondly, is the new bridge linking Hong Kong to Macau. Hong Kong's major international airport will be just as convenient, in terms of commute times, with Macau as it will be for downtown Hong Kong Itself, once the bridge is completed. It will put Macau on equal footing with Hong Kong for major convention, leisure, and shopping business. Macau's current ferry system is relatively in-convenient for Hong Kong travelers currently, particularly for those staying in HongKong, but wishing to take a day-trip jaunt to Macau.

    Finally, there is the untold value in Sand's assets. The company's "depreciating" assets are, in fact, "appreciating" in value very rapidly... especially those which will benefit the most from all that is being constructed around Sand's current facilities in Central Cotai. To the extent that the value of Sand's retail, and other "non-core" assets have appreciated thus far, the "critical mass" that will be generated as Wynn, MPEL, SJM, MGM, Galaxy, and Sands ITSELF complete their major, Cotai construction projects will surely almost double their value once all of those construction projects are completed.

    All existing Cotai resorts are "adjacent" to a Sands resort on Cotai. Once all current construction projects are completed on Cotai, only 2 of those projects will NOT be adjacent to a Sands resort (sjm and Wynn). Only Parisian, Studio City, and City of Dream's newest phase will be "on-strip" developments, once the current wave of construction projects is completed in 2018.

    Jun 16 02:55 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bank Of America: With $17 Billion At Risk, Is Brian Moynihan Going To Make It Or Blow It? [View article]
    Obama and his AG, Eric Holder, are generally, "anti-corporation", and specifically, "anti-bank".

    It goes to the heart of Mr. Obama's belief that corporations exploit people much as his country was exploited by colonial powers when he was a child. He is America's first, true, purely-socialist President.

    Thus, it follows that he and Mr. Holder will seek to inflict as Much Punishment as Possible on the banks, because they deeply feel that the bank's transgressions go WELL BEYOND just the mortgage crisis, even though the rest of us generally rational thinkers know that that is no more true than Hugo Chavez's reign of destruction over the companies active in Venezuela, during his socialist reign.

    It surprises no one who truly understands the role that corporations play in the global economy, just WHY Mr. Chavez was one of Mr. Obama's most ardent supporters during his presidential campaigns.
    Jun 15 12:26 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Seadrill And Transocean: Complete Fleet Analysis Comparison And Commentary [View article]
    RIG is better value than SDRL.
    Somebody like Carl Icahn wouldn't be interested in a company like Seadrill.
    For somebody like Icahn, RIG presents much more upside potential in the wake of it's current reorganization, newbuilds, and cost reductions.
    Jun 10 02:55 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Las Vegas Sands: Shares Going Higher, Ignore The Noise [View article]
    Each year provides a diversion-du-jour that separate's people's minds from the reality of Macau's growth. This year, it isn't visa curtailments or junket laundering crackdowns... it's Portable, Union Pay card swiping terminals.

    It's also going to be the upcoming World Cup, which hammered gaming volumes by some 20% 4 years ago.

    Throw in the fact that 2014 is the "trough" year for resort openings, and there's little for a forward-looking, value-seeking, bull not to LIKE about LVS today.

    Hengqin, the bridge, the trains, resort construction, japan... there's little that ISN'T being discussed on the #1, fully-monitored, LVS message board today.
    Jun 9 12:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Las Vegas Sands: Betting On Market Beating Returns [View article]
    Thank you for blessing us with your mastery of the casino industry. As you are the only, actual, casino pro in this discussion, we are truly blessed with your expert opinion.
    Jun 4 04:41 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Las Vegas Sands: Betting On Market Beating Returns [View article]
    Let's begin with your statement that Mr. Adelson "owns over 8% of the shares of LVS". The reality is that Sheldon and Miriam Adelson control over 54% of the shares of LVS via multiple forms of ownership, including trusts.

    Let's also not get carried away by LVS's large, $810 million "share re-purchase" in Q1. Outstanding stock (float) only decreased by about 4 million shares between Q4, 2013 and Q1, 2014 which, at the roughly $80 a share the company repurchased at, amounts to only $320 million worth of ACTUAL share reduction...

    ... meaning that the other $490 million paid to buy stock was only re-purchasing stock that the company was ISSUING... predominantly via it's rather extravagant stock and option grants.

    Given Adelson's level of commitment to LVS, and the company's success that has resulted from his skills, I'm reluctant to complain about the riches that this company's management bestows upon themselves, but it WOULD be nice if they put LESS emphasis on the value of the buybacks, and MORE emphasis on actual reduction in shares outstanding because that is what REALLY matters.

    Finally, as disappointing as May's tepid 9.3% increase in SAR wide GGR growth was, less noticed was that Sands resumed it's position as the market share leader in gaming volumes at 23.2% (vs SJM's 23.0%), and holds the lead overall for 2014 YTD for the first time in it's history of operations in Macau.

    Even more impressive, however, is Sand's MASSIVE lead over SJM in EBITDA, where Sands racked up $2.908 billion in 2013 VS SJM's $1.119 billion.

    Sands is on track to easily eclipse $3 billion in EBITDA in 2014, and will likely more than Triple SJM's EBITDA this year.

    For further discussion, please visit

    Jun 4 12:47 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment