Wynn Resorts, Limited (WYNN 2.16%) continued to wow investors this week with its fourth-quarter performance, showing that it's able to steal market share in Macau as high-end gamblers return to the region. Not only did the newest property, Wynn Palace, perform well, but the older Wynn Macau had a tremendous quarter as well.
On top of great fourth-quarter performance, Wynn continues to refine its growth plans, with construction underway near Boston and the golf course behind Wynn Las Vegas being graded to make way for a new development. Here's a look at the keys from the quarter.
What happened at Wynn Resorts
Overall, revenue jumped 29.9% at Wynn Resorts to $1.69 billion and adjusted EBITDA was up 40.9% to $480.2 million. Macau drove the growth, offsetting a decline in revenue and EBITDA in Las Vegas.
Net income for the quarter was $491.7 million, which included a $339.9 million gain from the tax bill passed in December. On an adjusted basis, net income rose from $50.8 million a year ago to $144.3 million, or $1.40 per share.
The big story in Q4
Macau was a big winner overall in the fourth quarter, with gaming revenue jumping 19.8% versus a year ago. But Wynn Resorts benefited from the region's growth a lot more than competitors did, mainly because growth was concentrated in Wynn's wheelhouse of high-end gamblers. Wynn Macau, which is the older resort on the Macau Peninsula, saw a 24.1% increase in revenue to $618.6 million. Property EBITDA jumped 25% to $186.0 million.
Revenue for Wynn Palace, which opened in fall 2016, popped 65.6% to $693.4 million and property EBITDA rose 145.3% to $190.1 million. I've said that Wynn Palace should generate over $1 billion of EBITDA annually when it fully ramps up and it looks like the property is well on the way to that level.
Las Vegas falls behind
The only flaw in the earnings report was Las Vegas revenue falling 1.6% to $383.3 million and property EBITDA dropping 9.2% to $104.1 million. Casino revenue was the main culprit, falling 14.1% after an unusually lucky quarter in Q4 2016.
On the non-gaming side, revenue per available room did rise by $5 to $250 per night, showing some strength in customer demand. Las Vegas isn't going to be the operational driver of Wynn Resorts given how profitable Macau is, but it's a decent cash flow generator nonetheless.
More growth is coming
While current performance is amazing, it's not the only reason to be excited about Wynn Resorts' stock. Management said early construction has begun on a 460,000-square-foot expansion of convention and meeting space in Las Vegas and a lagoon feature will follow shortly. In total, the budget for those projects is about $400 million. In the next few months, we'll also get a better picture of what an additional tower at Wynn Las Vegas and even a new resort at newly acquired land across the Las Vegas Strip could look like.
Wynn Boston Harbor construction continues, and a mid-2019 open date is still forecasted. So far, $1.13 billion of a projected $2.4 billion has been spent on the project.
Another expansion that got some attention on the conference call was phase two at Wynn Palace in Macau. Steve Wynn said he would likely need some clarity from the government on renewing Wynn Resorts' gaming license beyond 2022 before something is built, but a short building with five or six stories and fewer than 100 ultra-high-end hotel rooms is what he has in mind. It could be taking the VIP experience that's going so well in Macau to a new level.
Hitting on all cylinders
Not only is Wynn Resorts riding a wave of growth in Macau, but it's taking market share from competitors and expanding margins in its own resorts. As long as the economy remains strong and the flow of money to Macau continues, there doesn't appear to be anything that can stop the gaming industry's hottest stock.