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Deadbeat Hits Las Vegas Sands

The company cites a surge in bad debt expense.
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Las Vegas Sands (LVS) - Get Las Vegas Sands Corp. Report said it expects operating income at its Las Vegas properties to rise to between $86 million and $91 million in the first quarter from $79 million a year ago.

The casino operator said it disclosed the numbers as it plans to market and syndicate a new $5 billion credit line. It plans to use proceeds from the new line to refinance its debt and for capital spending.

Hotel revenue rose 7% from a year ago to $96 million, as the Venetian's average daily room rate rose 11% to $276. The company's table games win, before discounts, surged to $103 million from $81 million a year earlier, as the table games win percentage surged to 29%.

But Las Vegas Sands said its provision for bad debt surged to $16 million, including $10 million related to a single premium customer, from $4.7 million in the first quarter of 2006.

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