Quarterly earnings calls can sometimes be a bit dull, even if there's a lot of great information buried deep inside them. But a conference call with Steve Wynn of Wynn Resorts is anything but dull, and the third quarter call was no exception.
There were dogs barking in the background and confusion regarding Macau, but here are five comments from founder and CEO, Steve Wynn, that investors should know.
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Macau is in rough shape
This was like the warmup from Wynn. He basically acknowledged that they don't know where the bottom of the gaming market is, and they have seen no signs of relief, especially from the VIP segment. Mass gaming was "flat-ish" but that's about the best comment he made about Macau in general.
Ironically, that region is still where Wynn's most profitable resort is and Wynn Palace, the newest property, will likely be his most profitable ever, despite the slowdown. What he's really frustrated with is unknowns in areas where the government could be providing more clarity.
Who gets tables when?
The upcomig Wynn Palace. Source Wynn Resorts
The Macau government decides how many table games and slot machines each resort can have, and that process has always been rather ambiguous. But it has become a big deal lately as the allocation of tables has fallen short of what developers expected and come later than they would like. Wynn doesn't currently know how many table games Wynn Palace will enjoy, and as he plans staffing and other preparations for the $4 billion resort, that becomes a challenge.
And that's when he got truly riled up.
Wynn gets heated
Wynn is referring to Melco Crown's Studio City where authorities allocated just 200 tables to the new resort only three weeks before it opened. Not only was that less than half what the company was aiming for, it was so last minute that planning for the casino operator was extremely difficult.
Wynn is worried that his own resort will suffer from similar challenges as staffing is already up in anticipation of the opening. He also mentions this in context of the Macau government's desire to provide jobs and advancement opportunities for its people and non-gaming diversification of its economy. Wynn feels that he's doing both with a resort like Wynn Palace and the fact that he would spend that much money and not know if he has enough table games to make the resort profitable is hard to fathom.
One thing that most people don't realize about Wynn Las Vegas is that its results are driven by international travelers, primarily from China. Those private rooms at the back of the casino are where millions of dollars of gaming revenue is generated.
As a result, when China struggles or the Latin American economy weakens, so does Wynn Las Vegas. Off the gaming floor, the resort is doing well but VIP customers aren't visiting in the numbers they once did, and that has been another drag for the company.
Wynn Everett is coming along
If you've read any headlines about Wynn in Boston, you know that the fight over the resort in Everett, Massachusetts has been a mess. The mayor of Boston has been fighting against its development, and the battle had grown personal for Steve Wynn.
That appears to be resolved, and Wynn is moving forward with the project, although it is behind schedule. Look for this to be a small amount of capital spending in the next year or two with a big ramp up in 2017 when construction is in full swing. When complete, this will help diversify the portfolio slightly and potentially provide a high earnings casino in the heart of one of America's oldest cities.
The article 5 Things Wynn Resorts Limited Management Wants You to Know originally appeared on Fool.com.
Travis Hoium owns shares of Wynn Resorts, Limited. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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