Tag Archives: stocks

Hey, Steve Wynn, can you spare a dime?

As most everyone, casino mogul Steve Wynn has gone through some cash woes this year, what with his impending divorce and bad stock performance.  But things are apparently looking up for Stevie… 

Last week Wynn Resorts, Ltd. announced it will pay its shareholders a $4-per-share dividend on Dec. 3, which will earn Steve Wynn, the casino operator’s founder and largest shareholder, a payment of at least $88.6 million- that’s M-I-L-L-I-O-N. 

Yep, the company’s board of directors authorized the special one-time $4 payment for shareholders of record as of Nov. 19.

According to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Wynn, the chairman and chief executive officer, holds more than 22.15 million of the company’s 123.11 million outstanding shares. 

The company, which operates Wynn Las Vegas, Encore, Wynn Macau, is building the $650 million Encore at Wynn Macau, and announced it was starting a regular cash dividend program next year.  It expects to pay 20 cents per share dividend in the first quarter. 

The one-time $4 payment will reportedly cost Wynn Resorts more than $492 million. 

The rich get richer.

Leave a comment

Filed under Las Vegas, news, Uncategorized

Steve and Elaine Wynn Plan for Divorce, Sell $114 Million in Stock

Las Vegas casinos have been slammed hard by the recession, but Wynn Resorts shares have more than tripled from a March low. Now, Steve and Elaine Wynn have cashed in some of that jackpot with a whopping $114 million stock sale to raise cash ahead of their impending divorce. 

The couple sold two million shares of the company’s common stock on Aug. 14 at an average price of $57 per share. Steve Wynn is Wynn Resorts’ chairman and chief executive officer and Elaine Wynn is a director of the company. The Wynns, who now hold 46.7 million shares directly and through an interest in Aruze USA, have cut their stake in the company to 37.9% from 39.6% with the sale. 

The divorce would be the couple’s second. They divorced in 1986, but never separated and remarried in 1991. 

Wynn Resorts operates Wynn Las Vegas and Encore hotels and casinos on the Las Vegas strip and another resort and casino in Macau. All properties suffered when the recession hit and corporations and individuals curtailed luxury spending. 

The company’s stock price traded for as little as $14.50 in early March, but that was an inflection point. Wynn Resorts closed at $54.85 recently. 

For the year-to-date, Wynn Resorts shares are up 30%. Competitors Las Vegas Sands and MGM Mirage haven’t fared as well, gaining 18% and falling 39%, respectively. 

In July, Wynn Resorts surprised Wall Street by reporting a second-quarter profit, aided by aggressive cost cutting. 

Lon Juricic, president of StreetInsider.com, says the divorce situation means investors shouldn’t read too much into the sale.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, Uncategorized

Wall Street Bets on Isle of Capri Casinos

Comprehensive cost-cutting measures and being located outside the troubled Las Vegas and Atlantic City markets is making Isle of Capri a safer bet among investors despite continued revenue loss at its casinos. The regional gambling operator, based in St. Louis, Mo., is sporting the best returns among its casino peers, with its share price more than tripling since the beginning of the year.

“Although there is broad pressure on consumer spending, smaller regional markets have held up better than Las Vegas and Atlantic City during the recession,” said Michael Paladino, senior director of gaming at Fitch Ratings. 

Missouri recently eased gaming regulations, which helped Isle’s relative property performance compared with some of the larger gaming companies with greater exposure to Las Vegas and Atlantic City, Paladino said. In general, regional casinos in America’s heartland have stabilized because they aren’t as vulnerable to weakness in nongaming areas such as lodging, fine dining and air travel. 

MGM Mirage and the Las Vegas Sands Corp. had been dogged by concerns surrounding liquidity as well as a brutal business environment in Sin City which is battling rising unemployment and home foreclosures. Amid signs of industry stabilization and the removal of bankruptcy fears, MGM Mirage is up 260% from its 52-week low of $1.81. However, the company’s share price is still down about 52% from the beginning of the year.  Meanwhile, Las Vegas Sands is up roughly 36% on the year to about $8. 

Keith Foley, a gaming analyst at Moody’s Investors Service, said while investors are getting more bullish because the pace of declines has slowed, Isle of Capri is still grappling with “declines on a revenue basis with few exceptions across the board,” at the casino properties. 

“The top line is still struggling,” he said. Foley noted, however, that the management team has made extensive strides at controlling costs. “It’s still hard to say that (demand) trends have stabilized across the U.S.” 

Isle of Capri, which owns 17 properties, announced last week that it swung to a fiscal fourth-quarter profit on a $57.7 million gain from the early extinguishment of debt. It was the company’s second straight quarter of profit after more than two years of losses – a $95.2 million Hurricane Katrina insurance claim inflated its fiscal third-quarter results. 

The debt-laden casino operator has been cutting costs and consolidating its portfolio into two brands as it concentrates on the U.S. The company has left the U.K. market and plans to stop operating its property in the Bahamas, where a sharp decline in tourism in late May shuttered a Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts BV property. 

Fitch’s Paladino said the company has made strong efforts to improve their financial position, which has improved sentiment on the company. They have “one of the top cost-focused management teams in the industry,” he said. “Their overall credit profile is pretty attractive.”  Paladino also said Isle has no debt maturities until 2012 and very minimal capital spending plans beyond maintenance.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, Uncategorized