Pandemic plays havoc on Las Vegas Sands first quarter financial results Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · April 23, 2020 at 7:13 am Business disruption on two continents from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic sent Las Vegas Sands to quarterly financial results the company hasn’t experienced in more than a decade since the recession. Still, Las Vegas Sands President Rob Goldstein offered some light at the end of the tunnel. He told analysts Wednesday the company’s casinos in Macau and Singapore – which provide a combined 85% of the company’s quarterly revenues – will be back on track later this summer. “We feel confident that we’ll be in a much better place in the summer, and a much better place in the fall,” Goldstein said during a question and answer session after Las Vegas released results for the quarter that ended March 31. “The eventual recovery will take more time in Las Vegas,” Goldstein said. A week ago, the company gave a glimpse into the challenges it faces as the pandemic decimated tourism and casino business in Macau and the U.S. The company will save as much as $12 million a day in costs after halting its quarterly dividend program. At the same time, the company will move forward with its $5.5 billion in development projects in Macau and Singapore. “We don’t know how long this pandemic will last, but we are confident that travel and tourism spending in each of our markets and around the world will eventually recover,” Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson said in prepared remarks on the outset of the first-quarter conference call. “As surely as day follows night, people will travel again, shop again, and come together again to enjoy entertainment and social interaction, to exchange ideas and to conduct business,” Adelson said. During the quarter, Las Vegas Sands’ overall revenues fell 51.1% to $1.78 billion. In Macau, where the pandemic curtailed the Chinese New Year celebrations in January and closed casinos for 15 days in February, overall revenues fell 65.2% to $802 million. In Las Vegas, where the Venetian and Palazzo have been closed since March 17, revenues fell 15.1% to $400 million. Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands saw revenues fall 20.2 percent. The resort is currently closed until at least May 4. During the quarter, operating income companywide was down 94.3% to $55 million. Las Vegas Sands’ net loss in the was $51 million compared to net income of $744 million a year ago. Cash flow declined to $437 million, a drop of 69.9%. Adelson credited the company’s balance sheet. “Our company is fortunate to have the financial strength to enable us to focus our efforts on the safety and security of our team members and customers, and on making a difference to those in need in each of our host communities of Macau, Singapore, and Las Vegas,” Adelson said. During the casino closures in all three markets, Las Vegas Sands has paid the wages for its out of work employees. The company is currently covering the wages of employees at some 15,000 employees at the Venetian, Palazzo, and Marina Bay Sands. Suspending the quarterly dividend of 79 cents per share saved Las Vegas Sands will save the company between $700 million and $1 billion per quarter. Adelson and his family control roughly 57% of the company’s stock. Las Vegas Sands is spending roughly $12 million a day to maintain its properties for when gaming returns. The company’s balance sheet has $2.6 billion as of March 31 and access to almost $4 billion through its credit lines. Adelson hinted the company could be a buyer as the pandemic subsides but said any acquisition would have to be strategic. “The price has to be right,” Adelson said. Las Vegas Sands isn’t slowing on its development projects. The company will continue to spend more than $2 billion to rebrand its Sands Cotai Central complex into The Londoner Macau and expand and renovate the St. Regis Tower Suites and the Four Seasons Tower Suites. Las Vegas Sands is spending $3.3 billion on Marina Bay Sands, which includes a 15,000-seat arena, a 1,000-room hotel, and additional convention space. Expansion to the resort’s casino – one of two in the island nation – is not part of the project. “I remain steadfast in my belief that Macao has the opportunity to become one of the greatest business and leisure tourism destinations in the world,” Adelson said. “We remain excited to be a part of Singapore’s continued growth as a leading business and leisure tourism destination.” Shares of Las Vegas Sands closed at $41.03 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange, up 34 cents or 0.84%. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.