New Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Robert Goldstein promised investors he and his management team would continue the development strategies of his predecessor, the late Sheldon Adelson.
That strategy was underscored when he confirmed during Wednesday’s fourth-quarter earnings call that the company is exploring two new markets: New York and Texas.
The company reported a net loss of $376 million, 39 cents a share, on revenue of $1.146 billion for the quarter that ended Dec. 31. For the same quarter a year earlier, the company reported net income of $783 million, 82 cents a share, on revenue of $3.509 billion.
It was the company’s first earnings call since Adelson, Sands’ founder, died Jan. 11 of complications from non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Adelson had fought the disease for about two years.
“Mr. Adelson’s vision and leadership created Las Vegas Sands and the convention-based integrated resort business model that forms the bedrock of the company’s success,” Goldstein said.
He said Adelson’s impact will continue through the company’s 50,000 team members and the iconic properties he developed around the globe.
“These last few weeks since Sheldon’s passing have been difficult for all of us, but his commitment to investing aggressively to build iconic resorts that deliver economic benefits to our host communities, the core of the company’s operating strategy, remains firmly in place,” Goldstein said.“I am deeply committed to continuing the execution of the strategy he created, and confident that we will deliver growth in the years ahead while honoring his legacy and realizing his vision for the creation of additional integrated resorts in new markets.”
The company’s new president and chief operating officer, Patrick Dumont, told investors listening to the call that “the road map remains unchanged.”
“I am dedicated to working with Rob and our leadership team to make our strategic objectives a reality,” Dumont said.
Goldstein also quelled a rumor. Some analysts have suggested that Sands sell some of its equity in Macao to Chinese companies, presumably as a means to assure licensing renewals.
“We’ve been going to Beijing for 20 years and Macao having endless meetings,” Goldstein said. “I know there’s an outside belief by some people who write these things and they casually opine with their thoughts on how equity should be sold to Chinese companies and they’re jumping up and down. I’ve never, ever had a conversation with one person who mattered who ever suggested that to me. If anything, they (government officials) kind of chuckled because there’s not a big appetite to invest in gambling.”
Sands’ fourth quarter plodded along as the coronavirus pandemic continued to affect earnings in all of the company’s markets.
Sands’ Las Vegas properties suffered with the rest of the portfolio. The company reported net revenue in the fourth quarter of $345 million compared with $853 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. Hotel occupancy was 69 percent for the quarter compared with 97.3 percent in 2019. The average daily room rate was $229 a night compared with $450 a night a year earlier.
Las Vegas Sands shares, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, finished down $3.38, 6.4 percent Wednesday to $49.04 in heavy volume trading. It slid an additional 19 cents, 0.4 percent, to end at $48.85 in after-hours trading.
The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Sheldon Adelson, the late chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp.
Contact Richard N. Velotta at [email protected] or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.
Las Vegas Sands Corp.
4Q 2020: $1.146 billion
4Q 2019: $3.509 billion
4Q 2020: ($376 million)
4Q 2019: $783 million
Earnings/(loss) per share
4Q 2020: ($0.39)
4Q 2019: $0.82