July 25, 2008 / 5:07 AM / 10 years ago

Wynn Resorts 2nd-qtr net triples, but Vegas dips

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Wynn Resorts Ltd (WYNN.O) said on Thursday its second-quarter net profit more than tripled due to a tax gain and higher earnings at its Macau casino.

But Las Vegas profit fell sharply and shares of Wynn were down 2.3 percent after hours.

The company, created by casino mogul Steve Wynn, said net income rose to $272 million, or $2.42 cents per share, from $89.6 million, or 82 cents a share, a year earlier.

Wynn, which warned earlier this month of a profit shortfall at its Las Vegas casino, said it earned $1.11 per share excluding one-time items.

Analysts, on average, expected an adjusted profit of 93 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Casinos across the U.S. have become less of a draw to consumers, who have been hit by economic uncertainty, a declining housing market and soaring gas prices.

In Las Vegas, scheduled airline capacity cutbacks are expected to have an adverse effect on visitor spending, and even resorts catering to upscale customers are feeling the pinch.

“Oil bit us in the butt. It has caused inflation and other dislocation,” Steve Wynn said on a conference call, adding that he does not think the current economic downturn is much different from other recent U.S. recessions.

Second-quarter net revenue rose to $825.2 million from $687.5 million, driven primarily by increased business at Wynn’s casino in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau. Analysts expected revenue of $826.3 million.

Net casino revenue at Wynn Las Vegas fell to $120.7 million from $159.4 million, while gross non-casino revenue rose 0.3 percent to $211.9 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell to $81.8 million from $115.3 million.

Wynn said the decline was mostly because it won only 20.4 percent of money gambled at table games, compared with a table hold of 24.2 percent a year earlier.

At its casino in Macau, where the company finished an expansion in December, net revenue rose to $529.9 million from $352.5 million, and earnings rose 67.5 percent to $155.2 million.

Wynn said the budget for its Encore resort, adjacent to Wynn Las Vegas, which is scheduled to open in December, has been raised to $2.3 billion from $2.2 billion because “we added some stuff.”

Shares of Wynn, which fell 8.2 percent to close at $91.59 on Nasdaq, were lower at $89.45 in after hours trading.

Reporting by Deena Beasley; editing by Carol Bishopric and Gunna Dickson

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