Las Vegas Sands 2Q15 Earnings Call Notes

EBITDA grew in Macau despite double digit market revenue decline

“Our EBITDA in Macao grew sequentially by 6%. Against a backup of double-digit market revenue decline new competition in general wage inflation. Our Macao operations managed to improve the EBITDA and profit on a quarter-to-quarter basis. ”

People said Cotai wouldn’t work and now they’re “cutting off their arms” to get in

“The other guys can’t catch up to us, that train has left the station. When I first invisioned the idea of Cotai Strip other people criticized me and said it’s never going to work and now everybody is cutting off their arms to get into Cotai.’

We’re doing better than other operators

“I think that the other hotels really — the operators are really having difficulty and challenges confronting the situation being the challenges for all of us in Macao. We are maintaining the higher ”

Macau is now premium mass market, not just junket

“We built these malls a long time ago and they get stronger year after year, visitation is stronger it’s a reason to come to properties, we’re very proud what’s happening on the retail segment, how it translates down to the casino and the room occupancy. What you see in Macao, very clearly is that it’s mass market. It’s a premium mass, it’s no longer driven by junket GGR.”

We’re getting more vibe that a new opportunity is going to open in Asia, so we’re not paying as big of a dividend

“We’re getting more and more vibes that something is going to open up in Asia. And clearly if you talk to anybody in any of the countries where we’ve been, let’s use the word lobbing for a number of years. There isn’t anybody doesn’t thing that we’re in the pole position in any one of these countries. So it’s getting to smell like something is going to be coming up soon. And we’ve considered that in our cash flow vis-à-vis estimating the dividend”

Tough to get a room on weekends, but everyone is struggling mid week

“So, just like the fight when the MGM guys brought the fight late in May, you couldn’t get enough room, and enough gaming tables, that’s happening on weekends in Macao, that’s where demand is and that’s where the market is moving to. Everyone is struggling mid-week to my opinion, it’s the weekends where the money is being made, so that’s my take on the loose demand.”

Wynn 1Q15 Earnings Call Notes

Our hopes for improvement in Macau have proven incorrect

“I think the trends in Macau were beginning to be very visible in the fourth quarter, but our hopes for an improvement in the Chinese New Year turned out to be incorrect. And the repositioning of the market and the degradation of the volumes in VIP, have continued even into April. Most of my remarks now are going to include what we’ve seen in the first four months, not just the first three months, because the trends that were clear in January, February and March have continued into April and as we look at the whole year in Las Vegas and Macau, certain simple truths emerge.”

It’s no secret that there’s been a change in attitude in mainland China

“It is no secret that there’s been a change in mainland China in attitudes towards a number of things that have impacted Macau. ”

Guest experience is everything

“Guest experience is what creates a better tomorrow and allows us to continue in business, eventually raise our prices to offset the rising cost of business. People that have a good experience tell their friends and they come back again and again. Guest experience is the beginning, the middle and the end of the story.”

Guest experience is determined by our employees

“guest experience is determined by our employees, the people that actually touch our guests and create that experience. So our attention goes from our balance sheet and our financial condition to maintain flexibility, but also it goes immediately to keeping our workforce stabilized, happy, and proud to be here.”

I’m hurt more than anybody by a lack of dividend

Now I’m speaking on this call as the largest single recipient of such distributions. There is a few institutions that, if you take T. Rowe Price, own more shares collectively, at least for the moment, but they’re in individual pockets. When there’s a dividend check in this company, the largest one goes to me. And so I say again, unapologetically as a shareholder and as a Chairman of the Board, we believe that you distribute the money that is free and clear cash flow after you’ve met all other obligations, and the Board of Directors should consider that principle every time they meet each quarter, as we did this time.”

We don’t plan on dividending borrowed money

“Steve put it perfectly that we don’t plan on dividending out borrowed money.”

Summer business in Vegas does not look like it’s picking up like it has in past years

” for April and May, we have a strong base and stable base of convention as well as leisure mix. Summer’s going to be interesting. We’re starting to see summer trends not pick up the same way they did in previous year. So we’re paying very close attention to the market. And what we’re getting as indicators as far as the summer business but it does not seem as strong at this point as it was last year.”

What’s the second quarter going to look like in Vegas? Weak.

“If you were to ask me, since we’re making forward-looking statements, what will the second quarter look like in Las Vegas? Weak. Do you hear me? Weak. So I’m trying to lower expectations here. This notion of a big recovery is a complete dream. I don’t think Las Vegas is experiencing a great recovery. I think it’s still very patchy and I think that that’s probably our non-casino revenue in the first quarter was flat. I’d be thrilled if it was flat in the second quarter.”

We would be thrilled if non-casino revenue was flat

” can you hear that? Here’s two of us saying we’d be thrilled if non-casino revenue was flat in the second quarter as it was in the first. My guess is that that’s going be a struggle.”

The general economic recover in the US has been grossly overstated

“secondly or thirdly, the recovery in America is a jobless recovery in real terms. And inflation in America in real terms is an enormous number. So I think that the general economic recovery in the United States has been grossly overstated. ”

I have never seen anything like we’re going to see with this Pacquiao fight

“we’re having this call today on the eve of the upcoming Pacquiao fight and Mayweather fight. And this, in my 40-odd years in this town, this is a one-off. I have never seen madness and demand of this sort. This fight is probably going to break all records for pay-per-view. It certainly is breaking all records in what they’re getting for tickets. We have never charged more than $1,500 for a ringside seat in a fight and they’re going for $10,000, and then $7,500 for the medium range, and then $5,000 for the ones in the upper tier, an outrageous amount of money. Mayweather and Pacquiao are going to not only have to have a fight, but they’re probably going to have to do a chorus line or something to justify the cost of this.

But our room rates are at $1,300, $1,400, $1,500 for typical rooms, and you can’t get a room in this town. I’ve never seen anything like it even with Hagler fought Leonard, Ali, nothing like this.”

The tentativeness in China is a reflection of the uncertainty with respect to Xi

“The tentativeness of the government is a reflection of their own uncertainty, I believe, in many respects, as far as predicting where to go tomorrow or in the near future. There’s a new boss in China, Xi Jinping, and his agenda is something that everybody is adjusting to. He’s a very dynamic man. He enjoys enormous popularity among the people of China. And in China, the people matter. And so, everybody’s waiting and watching.”

King Digital 2Q14 Earnings Call Notes

This post is part of a series of posts called “Company Notes.” These posts contain quotes and exhibits from earnings calls, conference presentations, analyst days and SEC filings. Full transcripts can be found at Seeking Alpha

345m unique users

“we maintained a massive reach with 345 million monthly unique users in Q2 and our non-Candy Crush bookings grew 19% sequentially to approximately $250 million, which if you were to analyze that amount would represent a run rate of $1 billion from our non-Candy Crush games.”

Gross bookings were down though, external forces at play?

“However, gross bookings were sequentially lower during the period unless than we expected as we experienced the stepdown in monetization across our network during the latter part of the quarter. This monetization stepdown impacted our overall game portfolio. The suggests is maybe due to external factors as opposed to a simultaneous change in the performance across our games.”

Only a 5% sequential decline though

“gross bookings where $611 million representing a 5% decline compared to the prior quarter based on this results we are lowering our guidance for full year 2015”

832m cash on the balance sheet, returning 150m of it

“we generated net cash of $154 million or $227 million before equity related payments to end the quarter with $832 million of cash and cash equivalents, the strong cash generation of our business gives us the confidence to announce a $150 million special dividend, which Hope will describe in further detail.”

Broadening portfolio to more than casual games

“we have made a strategic decision to broaden our portfolio beyond casual games. For these we have setup several internal initiatives and we are pleased to announce the acquisition of non-stop games, a game developer based in Singapore. We are currently working on expanding beyond our general games with new titles that I expected to launch in 2015.”

Candy crush dropped off and other titles didn’t take its place

“the run rate of other titles specifically Farm Heroes didn’t grow enough to make a product short fall due to the monetization drop and lower than expected reach. ”

leverage the massive audience

“we’re not happy with the lower than expected gross booking run rate we have been experiencing since the latter part of Q2. But we’re executing on these strategic steps to leverage the massive audience we have built.”

Farm Heroes Saga is successful, but retention didn’t increase like with candy crush and pet something or other

“Farm Heroes Saga after an extremely strong start were essentially the tens of millions of Canvas players who were accumulated and highly engaged installed the game generating they delivered a very high retention, but then we didn’t see that retention improve as improve as new waves of players joined the game”

Games still successful, drop in monetization may be external

“because we haven’t seen a drop in product performance somehow that would suggest that the drop in monetization is due to external factors that – a number of possible external factors one of which is obviously competition and indeed we’ve seen a number of game emerging the top 10 where there is clearly a demographic overlap with our business.”

There’s seasonality in mobile gaming

“In regards to seasonality it’s hard to quantify because you can’t really say if people X amount people went and watched the World Cup rather than play our games. But what you do see is strong correlation between a lot of activity in January and less activity in June.”

Take Two 2Q14 Earnings Call Notes

This post is part of a series of posts called “Company Notes.” These posts contain quotes and exhibits from earnings calls, conference presentations, analyst days and SEC filings. Full transcripts can be found at Seeking Alpha

NBA 2K14 passes FIFA and Madden in US

“NBA 2K14 continues to expand its global audience and has become our first sports release to cross the 7 million unit selling mark. The title has captivated gamers on both current and next-gen platforms, surpassing both FIFA and Madden as the third highest unit selling title of any genre on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in the United States.”

Sold 34m units of GTA V

” worldwide selling now surpassing 34 million units”

60% of digital revenue is in game spend

“During the first quarter, digitally delivered revenue grew 43% year-over-year, to $106.4 million. Nearly 90% of this growth came from recurrent consumer spending, which accounted for approximately 60% of our digitally delivered revenue during the period.”

Very very pleased

“we are very pleased with how all of it’s going. Very, very pleased with the current consumer spending in general. Very pleased with virtual currency sales. Very pleased with Grand Theft Auto Online’s metrics across the board and very pleased with how NBA 2K is doing.”

February is a good release window, not so crowded

“I do believe February’s a pretty terrific release window. It’s not at all crowded and we will benefit from the fact that there are a lot of holiday sales of consoles, so the installed base will be bigger and it should be pretty open time to release. And if you look at our history over the past 7 years, we’re a company that’s often released major titles outside of the holiday season. In fact, we typically are not very active in the traditional holiday season. So having such a robust release schedule for October is somewhat unusual for us. We’re really excited about it. But I, for one, am glad that we have Evolve coming in February for any number of reasons.”

Zynga 2Q13 Earnings Call Notes

This post is part of a series of posts called “Company Notes.” These posts contain quotes and exhibits from earnings calls, conference presentations, analyst days and SEC filings. The quotes are generally pieces of information that I find interesting or helpful to understanding the company, industry or economy and are not meant to provide summaries of the full content of the call. Other posts in this series can be found by clicking here. Full transcripts can be found at Seeking Alpha.

“I am excited to be on the call this afternoon to introduce our new CEO, Don Mattrick.”

“Regarding my role, my top priority is to onboard Don and completely transition the CEO role to him. As Chief Product Officer, I’m excited to begin a new chapter, engaging more directly with our product teams and spending more time and focus on our near-term and long-term product roadmaps which as always been my true passion.”

“we’re not happy with the performance of our second largest franchise Zynga Poker. In Q2, while we still hold our leadership position in poker on both web and mobile, our competitors are closing the gap.”

“One of the primary reasons, bookings on Zynga Poker declined in Q2, was because of ongoing illegitimate credit card activity on the web. Performance is also being impacted by declines in web poker as user shift more quickly to mobile, and more casual, social casino games such as Slots.”

“We also launched two Casual mobile titles this quarter including Running with Friends and Draw Something 2. While Draw Something 2 has been a disappointment, Running with Friends performed well.”

“With regards to the quarter, audience and bookings continue to decline, and we’re losing share on both web and mobile.”

“In the long term, the best way to drive profitability is to grow the top line.”

“Zynga is still a young company, and we have the ability to break some bad habits and get back to good fundamentals.”

“First thing I have discovered from being here is, there is a great talent base, both in the engineering side in running live services. We do have a pipeline. We are going through a review against it. I think it has a lot of potential when you look at it in the context of hit products connecting through social spanning, multiple devices and multiple operating systems. Candidly, I don’t think we have delivered fully against that vision, and that’s the first place that we are going to start with focusing in on our core hits, dialing up product quality and navigating the transition to mobile”

“So what makes a great mobile game? Obvious answer, it’s just incredibly fun, and people love to play. People love to share with their friends and it’s easy to get in and out of over the course of the day. That’s part of the benefit that a mobile [always] brings with you. It’s just quick access in and out of experience, experiences that you love, the ability to share with friends, with family, I think, are kind of core to that.”

“In relation to what Kings accomplished, I think they’ve done an incredible job. I think they’ve built a great hit. I’ll fess up. I am a Candy Crush player and I’ve enjoyed it, evangelized it and it’s lived up to those attributes that I spoke about in the first place.”

Gamestop 4Q12 Earnings Call Notes

This post is part of a series of posts called “Company Notes.” These posts contain quotes and exhibits from earnings calls, conference presentations, analyst days and SEC filings. The quotes are generally pieces of information that I find interesting or helpful to understanding the company, industry or economy and are not meant to provide summaries of the full content of the call. Other posts in this series can be found by clicking here. Full transcripts can be found at Seeking Alpha.

$GME 4Q12 Conference Call Notes

“Without question, a very challenging year for the console gaming industry. NPD data for the industry indicates a 21% decline in software and a 25% decline in hardware in the past year in the United States, with similar numbers in our other geographies. GameStop outperformed the industry globally, confirming once again the unique nature of our business model and position in the market.”

“We have returned over 100% of our significant cash flow for the last 3 years to shareholders, and expect that strategy to continue.”

“Comparable store sales for the year were down 8%, with U.S. comps down 8.7% and international comps down 6.4%”

“we expect the first half of the year to be very difficult, as we wait for the next console cycle to begin, and face the declining demand that typically occurs after new consoles are announced. With Grand Theft Auto V, Battlefield IV releasing in the third quarter, and the PlayStation 4 launching in the fourth quarter, we expect a return to growth for the back half of the year.”

“Our consumer research shows extremely strong consumer interest in the new consoles.”

“purchase interest for the new PlayStation 4 is very strong. In fact, across a wide range of products, including new smartphones, new tablets, laptops, et cetera, the PlayStation 4 is by far the top scoring item.”

“There’s been a lot of talk about how it was the end of the console era, there would never be another console, and that now has become, will these consoles be as compelling? What we believe is, that there’s been a lack of innovation because of the length of the cycle. And we’re in a Tablet business where we see innovation really rapid-fire, and in the Phone business, we see a lot of innovation. So to us, the most exciting part of what’s coming is the fact that we’re reintroducing innovation to a massive install base. And Mike Hogan’s intent to purchase data would tell you, there’s a lot of pent-up demand.”

“the power that the new consoles have are really driving a whole new wave of developer innovation. So based on early games that we’ve seen running on the new platform, the physics are absolutely amazing. I mean, it — the games are getting to be so realistic and movie-like, it’s absolutely amazing. Social, the tie-in of social features is very strong, the ability to share the game, the kill shot that you just executed, and to share that with your friends immediately is amazing. And then the connectivity, I think, has come a long way. Gaming, as you know, is incredibly social. I think the new platforms add to that, and that connectivity will be easier than it’s ever been. And those are definitely the key things. I think that the controller that Sony has rolled out, the proprietary controller, the new controllers that they have, is very clever and I think it’s very — it will make gaming a whole new experience.”

“all the feedback from developers is, [playstation 4] is a tremendously friendly device to code for, and to really create innovation for. So they’ve — they’re really making a big push around making it a developer-friendly gaming device.”

“consumers have a very strong point of view around this. They want portability of their games, and they like trade credits, et cetera. So that’s been clear, that’s not a debate, that’s obvious.”

“60% of consumers have serious concerns that there is no transferability on games”

“Don’t forget that trade credits make video gaming a billion-dollars bigger business, because we provide that trade credit back.”

“The amount of customers who will bring us electronics to buy a PS4 is going to be a big number. And all of our console partners want a part of that, and they see the benefits of that.”

“I think, for me, the real benchmark is the fact that our PowerUp members are saying that they’re much, much more likely, and more excited about buying a PlayStation 4, even than around getting a new smartphone, a new tablet, a new laptop, all the other things they could buy.”

“I think where you’re really going to see Wii U take off is when there is a strong first-party title, that’s what we’ve always seen. And the fact that we really did launch without a strong first-party title, I think we’re seeing the ramifications of that today”

“And don’t forget, Nintendo has a massive IP.”