It’s earnings season and we’re in the middle of a bunch of corporate news from and about casinos in Las Vegas.
The bulk of the news over the next couple of weeks will revolve around earnings reports and presentations. Some of the corporations are more interesting than others. Red Rock Resorts (AKA Station Casinos) didn’t have much news beyond financials when they reported earnings this week. The Palms renovation is progressing as planned. There’s nothing new to see here.
Something is happening with Caesars Entertainment
Caesars Entertainment doesn’t report earnings until Thursday but the activist investor chatter is growing. According to the Wall Street Journal and CNBC, Carl Icahn now owns a 10 percent stake in Caesars Entertainment. He’s pushing Caesars to sell itself to another company.
The WSJ says Eldorado Resorts and Golden Nugget have both shown interest. The Golden Nugget rumor goes back to October 2018. Last week there was another rumor that the Golden Nugget might be on the market as well. Meanwhile, the owner of the Golden Nugget, Tilman Fertitta, has been purchasing shares of Caesars Entertainment. He now owns 1 percent of the competing casino operator.
We probably won’t hear news of a sale on the earnings call this week. There are too many rumors flying around for something not to be happening so keep your eyes open for some big Caesars news in the future. If you’re in need of Caesars Entertainment earnings, you can read the presentation from their Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), VICI. It might be a bit boring if you’re not a shareholder.
MGM Resorts Reports Earnings
Sometimes MGM Resorts dumps a lot of non-financial news into their earnings report and presentation. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case when they reported fourth quarter and 2018 earnings this week. They didn’t even offer information about “blowing out the west wing” of MGM Grand. That said there was still some useful information shared.
The main point of excitement for MGM Resorts on this earnings call was that their Las Vegas properties saw their best fourth quarter since 2007. Park MGM had a busy fourth quarter and is ramping up as expected. Room rates are increasing at the property so there might not be as many deals later in the year.
An MGM rep on the earnings call noted that having access to the main entrance on the Vegas Strip is helping the property. One interesting sidebar was about The Park and Park MGM is moving foot traffic from the east side of the Vegas Strip (MGM Grand side) to the west side (Park MGM side). They look forward to the new bridge outside of Park MGM to continue that flow. Coincidentally, they could have inserted news about the MGM Grand strip frontage renovation here but decided not to.
These earnings calls sometimes have colorful commentary that the official releases don’t have. For example, one of the reps on the call mentioned that MGM Resorts has half of all baccarat business in Las Vegas. They touted that they have more baccarat play than the second and third ranked casinos. On the downside, MGM Resorts said that some of their high rollers didn’t fly into Las Vegas for Chinese New Year. Guests went to Australia and Europe instead. CEO Jim Murren blamed the government shut down. Casino hold (the amount of money gambled that a casino keeps) was down from the guests. Overall, revenue for the week will be down when they report first quarter earnings.
MGM 2020 Plan
Early on in the call, MGM Resorts touched on their MGM 2020 plan that we told you about earlier this year. The plan will save somewhere around $200 million. The first phase will be streamlining employees. The second phase will focus on technology upgrades to save money.
They expect that two-thirds of the money they save from MGM 2020 will be in Las Vegas. The only surprise during the call was when Jim Murren brought up the Bleacher Report studio at Caesars Palace and partnership with Turner Broadcasting and Caesars Entertainment. He sounded surprised and maybe jealous by the deal.
Look for MGM to partner with a sports media company later this year. We have a treat in case you haven’t had enough MGM Resorts earnings news. MGM Growth Properties (MGM’s REIT) reported earnings this week. You can read about that here.
Not all news in Las Vegas needs extra analysis. Here are some long and short reads in case you’re the kind of person that has to know everything happening in Las Vegas.
- We don’t have enough new stories about some of the unique high rollers that visit Las Vegas. Good news – they’re still visiting and they still interesting. Read about the founder of Vice visiting Las Vegas here.
- The best hotels in Las Vegas according to US News & World Report are exactly what you’d expect to see on a list of best in Vegas. Read more here.
- Manzo at Eataly is open. Read more here.
- Def Leppard is moving their residency from the Hard Rock to Planet Hollywood. Read more here.
- The Big Blues Bender festival is moving from the Plaza to the Hard Rock this year. Read more here.
- Not enough people I know from out of state visit the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas. Read more about the area here.
- Aria upgraded their fitness room! Read more here.
- The new sports book at The Strat will open in late March. That’s just in time to cash in on all the visitors for the first weekend of March Madness. You can see renderings of the sports book here.
- The internet has a Baccarat Guy but the movies will soon have a “Baccarat Queen.” I would tell you about the movie but then you won’t click on this link to see what the movie is all about. That’s not fun.
- Aerosmith has announced more shows for their residency at the Park Theater inside Park MGM. Read more here.
- Cinco De Mayo weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the year in Las Vegas. The big boxing match at T-Mobile Arena on May 4 will be Canelo Alvarez vs. Daniel Jacobs. Read more here.
- There will be a limited series about sports bettors in Las Vegas on Showtime. Read more here.
- Last but not least: I don’t think it’s new but it’s new to me. You can purchase some of your favorite casino fragrances for your home. Visit Aroma Retail for more info.
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