Wynn Resorts dragged down by Macau millstone but 2016 off to “lucky” start

wynn-macauCasino operator Wynn Resorts’ Q4 and FY15 results showed continued weakness in Macau but at least chairman Steve Wynn managed not to publicly insult the city-state’s leadership this time.

Wynn’s overall revenue in the three months ending Dec. 31 fell nearly 17% to $947m, while full-year revenue was down 25% to just under $4.1b. Wynn’s Q4 profit fell 20% to $87.2m while the full-year figure fell from $731.5m all the way down to $195.3m.

As expected, Macau was the millstone dragging Wynn down. Macau revenue was off 27% in Q4 while adjusted earnings fell one-third. Turnover at Wynn Macau’s VIP tables fell 37% while the mass market tables were down 11% and slots handle slipped 4.7%.

As with other operators with businesses in Macau and Nevada, Wynn’s Las Vegas numbers were far rosier. Overall Vegas revenue rose 3.8% in Q4 to $391m despite gaming revenue being flat at $171m. Table drop was down nearly one-quarter while slots handle fell 5% but both slots and table win improved thanks to higher hold rates.

Unlike his infamous Q3 Howard Beale impression, Steve Wynn managed to keep his temper in check while discussing Macau’s government on the analyst call. Three months ago, Steve claimed Macau’s leaders were trying to “undermine and scuttle” the local gaming industry, but Steve now believes Macau’s leaders are willing to do “everything in their power” to ensure “the healthy continuation of the industry.”

Steve said the company’s Macau operations had their “best month in a long time” in January, although he cautioned that this wasn’t conclusive proof that Macau had turned a corner. “We are just lucky, that’s all.”

Steve, who has personally purchased over $100m of his company’s stock since December, said he’d opened his wallet on his belief that the stock was displaying an “extreme weakness in price.” Patting himself on the back, Steve said it was his unbiased opinion that his company’s management is “great.”