With The Stock Flat This Year, Will Q1 Results Drive Las Vegas Sands Stock Higher?

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Las Vegas Sands

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) is expected to publish its Q1 2024 results around April 17. We expect the company’s revenues for the quarter to come in at about $2.96 billion, marking an increase of almost 60% versus last year and roughly in line with consensus estimates, driven by a rebound in activity in Macau and continued strength in the company’s Singapore business.  We expect earnings to stand at about $0.62 per share, in line with consensus estimates. So what are some of the trends that are likely to drive earnings? See our analysis of Las Vegas Sands Earnings Preview for more details.

Sands’ Macau business – which accounted for over 60% of the company’s pre-pandemic revenue – is seeing a strong rebound as China relaxed many of its intense Covid-19 restrictions in early 2023. Tourist arrivals at Macau have rebounded strongly and LVS is seeing strong pent-up demand. For example, for February, the most recent data available, Macau recorded 3,293,564 visitor arrivals, representing a year-on-year growth of 110%. The number stood at 92.9% of the levels seen in 2019. Moreover, spending has also picked up. Market-wide mass gaming revenue for Macau reached about $5.9 billion for Q4 2023 (or roughly 105% of 2019 levels). Las Vegas Sands’ Marina Bay Sands (MBS) property in Singapore remains the company’s biggest profit driver, as tourist inflows into the country also continue to expand. Revenue from the property alone came in at over $1 billion in Q4. The mass-market gaming segment in the property has seen a surge, with revenue for tables and slots rising to about $583 million, or about 133% of Q4 2019 levels. Occupancy rates for hotel rooms were also robust standing at over  94% with average rates standing at $647 per night. While we could see a bit of a slowdown versus Q4 due to seasonality, things are likely to improve year-over-year.

LVS stock has seen a decline of 15% from levels of $60 in early January 2021 to around $50 now, vs. an increase of about 35% for the S&P 500 over this roughly 3-year period. However, the decrease in LVS stock has been far from consistent. Returns for the stock were -37% in 2021, 28% in 2022, and 2% in 2023. In comparison, returns for the S&P 500 have been 27% in 2021, -19% in 2022, and 24% in 2023 – indicating that LVS underperformed the S&P in 2021 and 2023. In fact, consistently beating the S&P 500 – in good times and bad – has been difficult over recent years for individual stocks; for heavyweights in the Consumer Discretionary sector including AMZN, TSLA, and TM, and even for the mega-cap stars GOOG, MSFT, and AAPL. In contrast, the Trefis High Quality (HQ) Portfolio, with a collection of 30 stocks, has outperformed the S&P 500 each year over the same period. Why is that? As a group, HQ Portfolio stocks provided better returns with less risk versus the benchmark index; less of a roller-coaster ride as evident in HQ Portfolio performance metrics. Given the current uncertain macroeconomic environment with high oil prices and elevated interest rates, could LVS face a similar situation as it did in 2021 and 2023 and underperform the S&P over the next 12 months – or will it see a recovery?

Relevant Articles
  1. Down 13% In Last Six Months, Will Macau Recovery Over Q4 Drive Las Vegas Sands Stock?
  2. Las Vegas Sands Stock Has Remained Flat This Year Despite Macau Recovery. What’s Next?
  3. Macau Recovery Will Drive Las Vegas Sands Q2 Results
  4. Singapore Strength And Macau Rebound Drive Las Vegas Sands Q1. What’s Next For The Stock?
  5. Is Las Vegas Sands Stock A Buy With Macau On Cusp Of Recovery?
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We expect the company’s financial performance to continue to improve going forward as demand in Macau picks up further, with per-capita spending expected to grow. LVS is well positioned to cater to growth given that it has over 12,000 rooms in the region. Things are likely to remain strong in Singapore as well, given the country’s reputation as a stable and high-value market.  Las Vegas Sands’ liquidity position is also reasonable, with cash holdings standing at $5.5 billion as of December 2023. That being said, there are risks as well.  LVS is also quite highly leveraged, with close to $14 billion in total debt outstanding. There are also concerns about the Chinese economy, with the crisis in the real estate sector, and this could pose a risk for LVS. We value LVS stock at about $55 per share, which is about 10% ahead of the market price. See our analysis of Las Vegas Sands valuation for more details on what is driving our price estimate for the stock.

Returns Apr 2024
MTD [1]
2024
YTD [1]
2017-24
Total [2]
 LVS Return 0% 5% -3%
 S&P 500 Return -2% 8% 131%
 Trefis Reinforced Value Portfolio -2% 4% 638%

[1] Returns as of 4/11/2024
[2] Cumulative total returns since the end of 2016

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