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Global Credit Research - 20 Aug 2010
New York, August 20, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service today raised the ratings of Las Vegas
Sands Corp. ("LVSC"). Moody's maintains
the positive rating outlook. LVSC has an SGL-2 Speculative
Grade Liquidity rating.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. ratings upgraded:
Corporate Family Rating to B2 from B3
Probability of Default Rating to B2 from B3
6.375% senior notes to B2 (LGD 4, 51%) from
B3 (LGD 4, 50%)
Venetian Macao Limited ratings upgraded:
Senior secured term loans to B2 (LGD 4, 51%) from B3 (LGD
Senior secured revolver to B2 (LGD 4, 51%) from B3 (LGD 4,
The upgrade is in response to the continued strong performance and favorable
growth prospects of LVSC's Asian gaming assets, the amendment
and extension of the company's U.S. subsidiary (unrated)
bank credit facilities that became effective August 17 2010, and
Moody's expectation that the company will achieve and sustain consolidated
debt/EBITDA below 6 times over the longer-term.
"Although faced with continued challenges at its Las Vegas casino
subsidiary, LVSC consolidated results are benefitting substantially
from the company's foray into the Asian gaming market, which
we expect will continue to experience strong and growing visitation and
consumer demand trends," stated Keith Foley, Senior
Vice President at Moody's. "The strong performance
of LVSC's Macau casinos combined with the progressive opening of
Marina Bay Sands through the beginning of 2011 should result in a continued
deleveraging of the consolidated entity." Combined,
LVSC's Macau casinos and Marina Bay Sands integrated resort in Singapore
now account for about 75% of the company's consolidated net
revenue and property-level EBITDA.
LVSC recently released its June 30, 2010 second quarter earnings
which showed a substantial increase in year-over-year EBITDA
at and Venetian Macau, Sands Macau, and Four Seasons Macau.
"Second quarter results also include the EBITDA contribution from
Marina Bays Sands in Singapore which partially opened on April 27,
2010, and continues to exceed our initial expectations in terms
of revenue and EBITDA performance," added Foley.
The upgrade also considers that the recent amendment and extension of
LVSC's U.S. restricted group (unrated) bank credit
facilities substantially reduces Moody's concerns regarding that
subsidiary's significant debt burden, covenant compliance,
and debt maturity profile. The amend and extend: (1) reduced
the revolver commitment and extended its expiration date to 2014 from
2012; (2) extended a significant portion of its remaining term debt
to 2016 from 2015; (3) resulted in the repayment of $1 billion
of term loan debt, and (4) relaxed the consolidated total leverage
The B2 Corporate Family Rating continues to acknowledge LVSC's high
consolidated leverage. Despite the significant improvement in consolidated
operating results and the repayment of $1 billion of term debt,
gross debt/EBITDA remains high at about 9 times after accounting for Moody's
standard analytical adjustments).
The positive rating outlook indicates that LVSC's ratings could
improve further if Marina Bay Sands continues to ramp up at a pace that
will facilitate a further and significant reduction in leverage.
The positive outlook also considers LVSC's improved cost structure which
should benefit the company's consolidated earnings profile going forward,
and the recent implementation approval of table games in Pennsylvania
which will benefit its Bethlehem, Pennsylvania facility.
Ratings could be upgraded if we become comfortable that Marina Bay Sands
can generate a rate of return that enables LVSC to materially reduce its
consolidated debt burden further. Quantitatively, a higher
rating requires that LVSC be able to sustain consolidated debt/EBITDA
below 5 times. The company would also need to adhere to a more
conservative long-term financial policy that is consistent with
a higher rating.
The principal methodologies used in rating Las Vegas Sands Corporation
were Global Gaming rating methodology published in December 2009,
and Loss Given Default for Speculative-Grade Non-Financial
Companies in the U.S., Canada and EMEA published in
June 2009. Other methodologies and factors that may have been considered
in the process of rating this issuer can also be found on Moody's website.
Information sources used to prepare the credit rating are the following:
parties involved in the ratings, parties not involved in the ratings,
public information, and confidential and proprietary Moody's
Investors Service's information.
Moody's Investors Service considers the quality of information available
on the issuer or obligation satisfactory for the purposes of maintaining
a credit rating.
Moody's Investors Service adopts all necessary measures so that the information
it uses in assigning a credit rating is of sufficient quality and from
reliable sources; however, Moody's Investors Service does not
and cannot in every instance independently verify, audit or validate
information received in the rating process.
Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on Moodys.com
for the last rating action and the rating history.
The date on which some Credit Ratings were first released goes back to
a time before Moody's Investors Service's Credit Ratings were fully digitized
and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's
Investors Service provides a date that it believes is the most reliable
and accurate based on the information that is available to it.
Please see the ratings disclosure page on our website www.moodys.com
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Please see the Credit Policy page on Moodys.com for the methodologies
used in determining ratings, further information on the meaning
of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
Peter H. Abdill, CFA
MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
Moody's Investors Service
Moody's raises Las Vegas Sands' CFR to B2 from B3; rating outlook positive
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
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