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Why Las Vegas Sands' Shares Popped 13.4% on Thursday

By Travis Hoium – Apr 23, 2020 at 4:36PM

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Earnings were down hugely, but the future of the casino industry may not be as dim as feared.

What happened

Shares of Las Vegas Sands (LVS -2.53%) jumped as much as 13.4% on Thursday after the company announced first-quarter earnings. Shares were steady for most of the afternoon, and as of 3:30 p.m. EDT were still up 12.5% for the day.

Not surprisingly, Wynn Resorts (WYNN -2.74%) jumped as well, with shares up 12.2% at their high; as I'm writing, shares are still up 9%. Investors are optimistic that fairly good news from Las Vegas Sands will continue when Wynn Resorts releases earnings in the next few weeks.

So what

This was an odd earnings report, to say the least. Revenue was down 51.5% to $1.78 billion, and net loss was $1 million, compared to a $582 million profit a year ago. But it wasn't last quarter's results that investors were keen on hearing about.

Macao's skyline, seen from the water at dusk

Image source: Getty Images.

Investors wanted to hear how quickly Macao's gambling revenue and visitation are coming back: That will give us an idea how quickly that region may start generating positive cash flow, and provide a preview for operations in the U.S. Management said that visitation and demand "will come rather quickly," with waves of growth as regions open up travel restrictions. By fall, it said, the company would be in a "much better place." It's still tough to quantify what that means, but a positive tone was all investors were looking for today.

Now what

The fact that the bottom isn't falling out of the gambling industry in Asia long-term has been enough to send both Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts higher today. And we got some idea just how much of a drop in revenue Las Vegas Sands could absorb while still breaking even.

Given what could be a quick recovery in the second half of 2020, Las Vegas Sands looks like a well-positioned casino stock. For investors willing to hold shares through the current downturn in travel across the world, it may be worth a second look.

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

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Stocks Mentioned

Las Vegas Sands Stock Quote
Las Vegas Sands
$38.70 (-2.53%) $-1.00
Wynn Resorts, Limited Stock Quote
Wynn Resorts, Limited
$64.93 (-2.74%) $-1.83

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