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Macau continues to be the driver of all things gaming. And the results from Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq: WYNN ) yesterday show just how strong the gambling mecca is and how luck plays a role in investors' fortunes.
Wynn's revenue in Macau increased 46.6% to $865.7 million, and property EBITDA jumped 50.2% to $272.8 million. We've come to expect numbers like that in Macau, but the real surprise was closer to home.
Wynn's Las Vegas operations had an incredible jump in revenue and cash flow, shocking this Fool who has all but written off Las Vegas. Revenue in Sin City was up 24% to $394.6 million driven by a 39.2% increase net casino revenues. Property EBITDA jumped 119.1% to $132.1 million in the quarter. Las Vegas is back, baby!
Hold your bets
Before you get too excited, let me pour water all over the results and bring some of the eye-popping numbers into perspective.
First off, the Macau casino added space with Encore in the second quarter last year, so results should have been better anyway. Second, there was more than a little good luck for Wynn in the quarter. Table game win percentage was 30.4% in Las Vegas, where a normal range is 21% to 24%. And a trip across the Pacific Ocean wouldn't have changed gamblers' luck, at least for those of us playing the kiddy tables. Macau's mass table game win percentage of 27.9% exceeded the expected range of 21% to 23%.
And the Macau numbers highlighted by the media today are down across the board from the fourth quarter. A lucky quarter to end 2010 hurt the comparison, but it's worth noting that Wynn wasn't flawless in Macau. Compared to the fourth quarter, revenue there was down 5.1%, casino revenue was down 5.9%, and property EBITDA was down 8.1%. Meanwhile, Macau gaming revenue as a whole increased 6.2% in the quarter. When they report results, we'll find out if that meant Melco Crown (Nasdaq: MPEL ) and Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS ) were able to steal customers in the quarter and help their results.
Reading the tea leaves
It's possible that Wynn lost customers in Macau, but the opposite may be happening in Las Vegas. What has me curious about the Las Vegas numbers is what effect they will have on other casinos. Gaming revenue on the Strip was down 2.5% in January and 9.6% in February. If Wynn's casino revenue was up 39.2% in the quarter at its Vegas casinos, either March was a blowout or MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM ) , Caesars Entertainment, and Las Vegas Sands lost market share in the quarter. My bet is on the latter.
So Wynn Resorts may be looking like a hero for beating analysts' estimates and growing at an astonishing rate, but a closer look at the numbers tells us the quarter wasn't all aces. Wynn caught good cards and played them to the fullest. The next few weeks will tell us if competitors had the same kind of luck.