Casino doubles on earnings estimate: Is this a sign?

MGM Resorts International, the largest owner of casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, reported second-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates, helped by an increase in gambling in the U.S.

Net income totaled $105.5 million, or 21 cents a share, compared with a loss of $93 million, or 19 cents, a year earlier, the Las Vegas-based company said today in a statement. Analysts projected 10 cents, the average of 20 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

MGM joins rival Wynn Resorts Ltd. in reporting an increase in gambling in Las Vegas in the second-quarter. Casino revenue at MGM’S domestic resorts rose 6%, driven by table games, while room revenue on the Las Vegas strip also advanced 6%. At the same time, MGM and other operators are navigating a decline in betting by high rollers in Macau, the only place in China where gambling is legal.

The shares rose 3% to $27.25 at 9 a.m. in New York. Through yesterday, they had increased 12% this year.

Sales at MGM China fell 1% to $828 million in the quarter. Macau has seen a slowdown recently related to the mainland economy and a crackdown by the Chinese government on corruption and illegal money transfers that’s cooled spending, particularly among high rollers.

MGM China also announced a dividend of $136 million, which will be paid to shareholders of record as of Aug. 25 on Sept. 1, according to the statement.

Total revenue in the period ended June 30 rose 4% to $2.58 billion, beating the $2.57 billion average of estimates.

MGM recorded a $29 million non-cash impairment expense in the quarter, related to its joint venture investment in Grand Victoria.

About the Author