Las Vegas Sands roared back to profitability in Q4 2010, based largely on stellar performances from its properties in the red hot Macau and Singapore markets. Overall revenue rose 57% in Q4 to $2.02b for a net profit of $273m (vs. a $113.9m loss in the previous Q4). Of course, because some Wall Street types figured Sands’ revenue should have come in at $2.05b, Sands’ stock fell almost 7% in after-hours trading. Never mind that Sands’ $2.02b was a record revenue figure, or that it’s only (relatively speaking) $30m off those analysts’ ‘estimates’, it was ‘sell sell sell’ on Wall Street. Frankly, we think Mark Cuban is right — the stock market is for suckers.
Meanwhile, another (sorta) gaming-related public company posted its fourth quarter numbers. Money transfer specialists Western Union announced growth of 3% (revenue) and 8% (profit) over the previous Q4. For the record, that’s the fourth consecutive quarter in which the company’s revenue has grown. A big engine of this growth is the 29% year-on-year increase in US money transfers (compared to an 8% gain worldwide). As an insider told Reuters, the company has witnessed “a slow and steady improvement on the consumer side, in particular the domestic market.”
Guess there’s an awful lot of, you know, foreigners working in the US who regularly send money home to their loved ones, especially loved ones based in, say, the Caribbean. There definitely isn’t enough direct evidence here to suggest that the boost in Western Union’s business is due to the US war on online poker eCom, which compels many players to find other means of funding their accounts, such as, you know, Western Union. No, we weren’t thinking that for a second.