Brokerage firm Bernstein has remained fairly optimistic about the outlook Macau casino concessionaire have. The firm believes that the existing liquidity of the Special Administrative Region (SAR)’s companies will be sufficient to tide them over through any foreseeable future crisis, never mind any economic downturns or increased border scrutiny on the Chinese border which has reduced the flow of travelers already.
A Worst-Case Scenario Highly Unlikely
Regardless, Bernstein feels optimistic about the long-term prospects of these companies. In a recent update, the company’s analysts Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li, and Shirley Yang took a closer look at the six operating companies’ liquidity, using it as the base against which they ran their predictions for the future.
Analysts have cautioned though that SJM, which is yet to confirm its refinancing, only has three months’ worth of cash. The analysts have accounted for a worst possible case in which SJM gets no access to any revenue, with travelers completely cut out and no gamblers to spin the wheels of the gaming operations. The experts remain fairly upbeat about the short-term, though, but do caution what to expect:
Under a more reasonable zero-EBITDA environment, cash burn (including liquidity from credit facilities) increases to seven months for SJM, 17 months for Studio City and over 30 months for all others.
SJM has already objected that the estimates are not entirely accurate and that the company would be able to carry on for years without any revenue. The zero-revenue scenario paints a different picture, Bernstein argues, with SJM only having three months, Sands China doing much better with 12 months, and Wynn Macau going on for 14 months.
Some Concessionaires Can Go On for Years
MGM China and Galaxy Entertainment Group are given 26 and 30 months respectively, a much better outlook, but also one that is unlikely to come to pass because travelers will most likely not stop coming to Macau, notwithstanding the tough restrictions at the border with China.
While China has been actively discouraging its own citizens from crossing the border to gamble, the country has been urging concessionaires to focus their efforts abroad and try to secure more travelers who would be willing to come and gamble. No matter what happens next, all six concessionaries seem to be in a great position which would mean that their banks would want to continue doing business with them. There are no near-term debt maturities as well, giving an extra boost of confidence right there.
Besides, if covenant waivers need to be made, the analysts predict that they would be happy to oblige. However, they caution that reducing cash expenses would not be possible as they have already streamlined during the nadir of the pandemic.