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Why Las Vegas Sands Stock Dropped 27.2% in March

By Travis Hoium – Updated Apr 6, 2020 at 9:42PM

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Asia is opening casinos again, but the U.S. is shutting down, and that hit Las Vegas Sands hard.

What happened 

Shares of casino giant Las Vegas Sands (LVS 0.15%) fell 27.2% in March, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, and have already fallen another 10.7% so far in April. It'll come as no surprise that the COVID-19 outbreak is the main reason. 

So what 

After closing the company's Macao resorts for 15 days in February, Las Vegas Sands closed its U.S. properties on March 17 with no indication when they will reopen. 

Skyline of the Macao Peninsula from the water at dusk.

The Macao skyline. Image source: Getty Images.

Macao's recovery isn't as V-shaped as some investors may have been hoping for, either. March gambling revenue was down 79.7% versus a year ago, and so far in 2020 revenue is down 60%. If that continues much longer, it'll be a huge drain for casino operators. 

Now what 

The good news for Las Vegas Sands is that it has $4.23 billion of cash on the balance sheet and Asian operations are at least open. If Macao and Singapore can get to the point where they're generating even a little cash flow in the next few months, it'll provide a bridge to get through this crisis. We don't know when consumers worldwide will return to casinos again, but this is a casino stock built to weather the downturn, and now may be the time to pick up shares if you're willing to ride out the storm. 

Travis Hoium has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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