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Macau profit, buyback plan lift Wynn

Wynn Resorts Ltd. on Thursday announced preliminary second-quarter earnings and a stock buyback program. Gains in Macau offset declines in Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, a Chinese newspaper reported that Wynn Resorts may be considering a Hong Kong stock offering to raise up to $3 billion to help fund the company’s planned Encore at Wynn Macau.

In its earnings statement Thursday, Wynn Resorts said it expects Wynn Las Vegas’ second-quarter operating income to be between $18 million and $22 million, down from $63.4 million a year ago. The company expects second-quarter adjusted property cash flow for Wynn Las Vegas, defined as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, to be between $80 million and $84 million, down from $115.3 million a year earlier.

Meanwhile, for Wynn Macau, the company said it expects second-quarter operating income to be between $100 million to $106 million, compared with $53.2 million a year earlier. The company expects second-quarter adjusted property cash flow to be between $152 million and $158 million, up from $92.7 million a year earlier.

Wynn plans to release final second-quarter results July 24.

The news sent Wynn Resorts shares, which trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, surging in after-hours trading; they rose $10.43, or 14.91 percent to reach $80.37 at 4 p.m. PDT. The shares had finished regular trading at $69.94, down $7.62, or 9.82 percent.

Meanwhile, Wynn Resorts said Thursday that its board approved an increase of up to $500 million to its previously announced $1.2 billion stock buyback program.

And, the South China Morning Post, citing unnamed sources, said Wynn Resorts hired UBS, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank to help with a possible Hong Kong stock offering. The sources added, though, that volatile markets, stoked by economic uncertainty in the United States, may keep the offering from happening soon.

Construction has started for the Encore at Wynn Macau, a resort with 400 luxury suites and villas, restaurants, shops and VIP gaming space. In December, Wynn Resorts projected an early 2010 opening for the project.

Contact reporter Matthew Crowley at mcrowley@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0304.

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