Wynn Resorts Wins Big and Gives It Away

Another quarter is done, and it was another blowout for Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq: WYNN  ) . The casino giant that caters to the most affluent again proved that the rich are willing to lose lots of money in its casinos, and Wall Street analysts can't keep up with the pace of play. For the fourth quarter in the last five, Wynn didn't just meet, it crushed expectations.

Revenue increased 32.4% to $1.37 billion, adjusted property EBITDA increased 58.9%, to $447.0 million, and after an adjustment, earnings per share jumped from $0.52 last year to $1.60 in the latest quarter.

But while Wynn was happily taking money from customers in the casino, it was literally giving it away to a charity in Macau.

Giving away your money
The big ding on Wynn's earnings was a $135 million donation made to the University of Macau Development Foundation. The payments will be made over 10 years, but this is a big charitable contribution Steve Wynn decided to make on behalf of shareholders. It left me scratching my head a bit.

Expecting better luck
One interesting note from the press release yesterday was Wynn's increased expectations from what it will win in the mass-market category in Macau. Wynn is increasing mass-market table game win percentage expectations to 26%-28%, from 21%-23%. For a look inside exactly what this means, I explain gambling odds here, but in short, you can take this as customers sitting at tables longer and losing more than Wynn had expected previously.

For a comparison, in Las Vegas, Wynn expects to win 21% to 24% of table game drop. Don't let anyone tell you Asian gamblers aren't a far better gambling market than Americans.

Las Vegas leads the way?
For the second straight quarter, Wynn saw improving results in Las Vegas, where property EBITDA increased to $132.7 million from just $65.1 million a year ago. MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM  ) investors saw that as a good sign for its casinos and have pushed shares higher today. But that may be a little premature: in the first quarter, Wynn saw higher Vegas casino revenues, but MGM was left hurting in Vegas. So Wynn's good fortune in Vegas might not be MGM's. Wynn is outpacing overall gaming growth.

Foolish bottom line
With only one company reporting, it's hard to say that Las Vegas is back, but so far, so good for the city. I would still put my bets on companies with the most possible exposure to Asia. Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS  ) , Melco Crown (Nasdaq: MPEL  ) , and Wynn Resorts are all jockeying for gambling dollars, and they'll all win big as gaming revenues increase in Macau.

Interested in reading more about Wynn Resorts? Click here to add it to My Watchlist, and My Watchlist will find all of our Foolish analysis on this stock.

Fool contributor Travis Hoium does not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.

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  • Report this Comment On July 19, 2011, at 4:37 PM, lazzybum wrote:

    There is no need to scratch your head. Steve has learned the lesson. If you are generous with donations, you'll be reworded 10 times over. SA still hasn't learned the Chinese way yet. This is why

    WYNN will be a great bet for new sites while LVS is losing favors to Macao Government. If

    SA continue to be a miser, he may not get his license renewed.

  • Report this Comment On July 19, 2011, at 8:52 PM, TMFFlushDraw wrote:

    Probably true. I haven't seen any good rumors about the "real" reason and I was shocked no one even blinked an eye on the conf. call.

    Not sure about the LVS comments though. TBD.

    Travis Hoium

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