Wynn earnings were somehow worse than everyone imagined

Steve wynnREUTERS/Fred ProuserSteve Wynn, chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, speaks at a panel discussion ‘CEO Conversation: Past, Present and Future of Las Vegas With Steve Wynn’ at the 2009 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills,California, April 28, 2009.

Macau’s malaise strikes again. This time its victim is Steve Wynn and his Wynn Resorts casino empire.

The company just released its fourth quarter 2014 earnings, and they were even worse than the mess analysts had pictured.

The stock is now falling in after hours trading, down about 3.5%.

Wall Street was expecting Wynn to deliver dismal numbers already, with an adjusted earnings per share coming in at $US1.43, down from $US2.27 at the same time last year.

What Wall Street got was an EPS of $US1.20. Wynn Resorts’ income for the fourth quarter came in at $US109.3 million, down from $US213.8 million at the same time the previous year.

It should be noted that those three month numbers are the numbers to watch — not the full year numbers — because it’s in the last few months of the year when gambling revenue in Macau really started to unravel.

In the last three months you find out about the future of global gambling — about the loss of the profit center that was Macau. In 2014, the island’s gambling revenue contracted for the first time since the island allowed Western companies to set up gambling operations in 2001. The slide started sometime over the summer culminating in December when gambling revenue fell 30%.

Why? For reasons that aren’t going away any time soon.

Chinese President Xi’s corruption crack down has scared away high rollers and broken down their financing system, the junkets. Sixteen per cent of junket operations on the island closed last year alone.

New regulations about smoking at casino tables, coupled with a general Chinese economic slowdown are scaring retail gamblers away too.

Wynn’s Macau revenue overall fell 32%.

What’s more, is that many casino firms are building more venues on the island in 2015 — and this is not an ‘if you build it they will come situation.’ That’s usually only in the movies.

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