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Las Vegas Sands Fuels Casino Jitters

Las Vegas Sands narrows its loss in the fourth quarter, boosted by gaming in Macau.

(Las Vegas Sands article updated with stock price movement and analyst commentary.)

LAS VEGAS (

TheStreet

) --

Las Vegas Sands

(LVS) - Get Report

continues to sink a day after releasing a fourth-quarter report that failed to relieve investors' jitters.

During the quarter, Sands lost $113.9 million, or 17 cents a share, compared with a loss of $136.5 million, or 27 cents, in the year-ago period. The company now completes two full years of losses.

On an adjusted basis, Sands earned 3 cents a share, a penny more than analysts' estimates for the casino owner. Las Vegas Sands' revenue increased about 17% to $1.28 billion from $1.09 billion last year.

Shares of Las Vegas Sands are tumbling 9% to $15.90 Thursday afternoon.

Las Vegas revenue for Las Vegas Sands fell 19% to $264 million, as room and food and beverage revenues remain weak.

Still, gambling volumes for Las Vegas Sands have "stabilized and the execution of our cost savings programs has positioned us to deliver improved operating margins and cash flows as the economy and our group business recover," Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson said in a statement.

Adelson predicts Sands will start to see a recovery in the group business in Las Vegas, as recent booking trends reflect increases compared to 2009.

Las Vegas Sands said its results were boosted by its Macau operations, which offset weakness on the Las Vegas strip. At the Venetian Macau, revenue jumped 21% to $570 million, while Sands Macau posted a 15% increase in revenue to $284.9 million.

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By the fourth-quarter of 2010 Sterne Agee analyst David Bain expects only 16% of revenue and 15% of earnings will come from its Las Vegas operations. The remainder will be garnered from Macau, Singapore and Pennsylvania.

Even as Sands failed to impress investors, J.P. Morgan analyst Joseph Greff reaffirmed his overweight rating and $23 price target on the stock.

"There were a lot of moving (and confusing) parts in the quarter, with plenty of bones for investors to pick at," he wrote. "However, net-net, we think Macau EBTDAR going forward has more upside than downside risk; and with low expectations for Singapore, we believe the risk-reward is favorable."

MGM also released rather disappointing fourth-quarter results. While the casino narrowed its loss during the quarter, it failed to meet analysts' forecast.

Revenue also dropped 11% to $1.45 billion from $1.62 billion.

Shares of MGM are sinking 6.6% to $10.85.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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