Sheldon Adelson’s Death Won’t Change Las Vegas Sands’ Direction, Wall Street Analysts Say

The company is expected to continue its already established course of action and retain its focus on Asia.

Rob Goldstein to Assume Permanent Role as CEO

Wall Street analysts and investors are weighing the impact of the death of Las Vegas Sands founder, longtime CEO, and controlling shareholder Sheldon Adelson on the company. The prevailing opinion is that the company’s strategy will not undergo a major change for now.

According to David Katz, analyst at the multinational independent investment bank Jefferies, the company’s management team and operating prospects will continue their normal course of action in the near future.

Sheldon built the world’s largest gaming corporation from scratch and never gave up control until last Thursday, when the company announced he was on medical leave to address his treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He grew Las Vegas Sands into a multi-billion-dollar casino operator that owns and manages integrated resort properties and convention facilities on the Las Vegas Strip, Macau, and Singapore.

Some of the central topics currently are whether Las Vegas Sands will sell its Las Vegas Strip operations and what will happen to the Adelson family’s majority stake. The company was looking for $6 billion for its gaming and convention operations on The Strip, but no buyer has emerged yet.

Morgan Stanley gaming analyst Thomas Allen pointed out that the temporary succession plan with Rob Goldstein, who stepped in as a chairman and CEO, will most likely become permanent. In the long term, it is possible that a member of the Adelson family will assume one of these roles, specifically with his son-in-law and CFO Patrick Dumont a logical potential candidate.

The majority of his family’s 56.6% ownership stake, worth $24 billion, is controlled by the mogul’s wife Miriam Adelson, 75, through a series of trusts. Allen is not anticipating any major divestiture of stock and expects the quarterly dividends to resume after the company’s balance sheet shows improvement in figures.

Ongoing Expansion in Markets of Macau and Singapore Remains Key

Brokerage Sanford C Bernstein expects the company’s focus to remain on Asia. Analysts Vitaly Umansky, Kelsey Zhu and Tianjiao Yu said Wednesday:

“LVS’s future still lies largely with Asia. The vision of Macau and Singapore that Mr. Adelson had in the 2000s has come to fruition. Given opportunity to invest further in Macau, Sands will be at the forefront of that opportunity.”

However, there is one potential area of investment that could see a major shift in the course of action. Bloomberg News revealed that Las Vegas Sands was in talks with potential partners to enter the sports betting business. Although Sheldon had always opposed any form of Internet wagering, Bernstein said it does “not see Goldstein and Dumont as having a similar strong view”.

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