Sands seen gaining premium mass share

Sands by night
Sands by night

Las Vegas Sands is likely to begin gaining share in the premium mass market in the second half of this year and into next as new suites for its Londoner resort and Four Seasons hotel come on line, analysts at Roth Capital wrote in a note. 

“Longer-term share gains will be driven by its peer-high Macau room base, coinciding with ramping Macau visitation and additional ingress infrastructure support,” they said.

Sands China’s stock has weakened, ending down more than 1 percent in Hong Kong on Friday after the company reported softer-than-expected earnings late Wednesday.

Roth notes the weakness was driven by a miss in Macau, due primarily to some loss of premium mass tables due to some disruption from construction works and also luck.

The company is in the process of transforming its Sands Cotai Central resort into a London-themed property, with footballer David Beckham as its brand ambassador. 

Roth said this weakness should be seen as a buying opportunity. 

“We believe Fall openings of suite products at both the Four Seasons and Londoner will drive premium mass share while the opening of renovated VIP areas at the Venetian in 1H20 will work to sustain VIP in the wake of SJM’s opening,” it said. “Further, we continue to see long-term mass share gains due to its peer-high room base combined with strong visitation trends.”

Tourism numbers rose more than 20 percent in the first half to 20.2 million.

Over 70 percent of tourists came from Mainland China, while visitors from Hong Kong and Taiwan accounted for 18.2 percent and 2.6 percent of the total, respectively.

Foreign visitors grew by 9.8 percent to 1.74 million, with South Korea, the Philippines, and Japan the key source nations.

The opening of the bridge linking Macau, Hong Kong and Zhuhai has given a major boost to tourism with 7.1 million passengers.