Las Vegas Sands Beats Estimate

But the shares fall as it registers a 55 million-share secondary.
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Earnings rose 59% from a year ago in

Las Vegas Sands'

(LVS) - Get Report

fourth quarter, as casino-goers bet and lost more money. The company also said it will register a 55 million-share secondary offering for CEO Sheldon Adelson and other owners.

Las Vegas Sands earned $110 million, or 31 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $69.3 million, or 21 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted for divestiture gains, pre-opening and development expenses, and litigation settlements, the company earned $118.1 million, or 33 cents a share, in the quarter.

Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings of 27 cents a share in the latest quarter.

Sales rose 44% from a year ago to $500.7 million, beating estimates by $54 million.

In Las Vegas, where the company operates the Venetian and the Sands Expo & Convention Center, table game "drop," or buy-ins, rose 17.6% to $320.4 million, while slot-machine volume fell 6.2% to $523.0 million. Overall Las Vegas casino revenue rose 45.3% to $105.1 in the fourth quarter, while table-game win percentage was 26.4%, up from 16.1% in the year-ago quarter and above the company's expected rate of 20% to 21%.

Venetian hotel revenue was $78.7 million during the fourth quarter of 2005, compared to $75.5 million a year ago.

In Macao, where the company operates the Sands Macao, fourth-quarter casino revenue rose 61.3% to $270 million, while operating income rose 56.7% to $93.3 million. "The substantial increases in revenues and operating income primarily reflect the strength of the company's Rolling Chip business, which was actively introduced in the first quarter of 2005, as well as continued growth in its Non-Rolling Chip table games and slot businesses," the company said.

The secondary registration covers shares held by trusts that benefit controlling shareholder Adelson and his family, as well as certain other holders. In addition to the 55 million shares, underwriters will get an option to buy an additional 8,250,000 shares to cover over-allotments.

In after-hours trading, the stock fell $2.51, or 5%, to $47.90.