Reuters blog archive

from Breakingviews:

Macau casino stocks are priced for perfection

By Ethan Bilby

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist.  The opinions expressed are his own.

Macau’s casino stocks are priced for perfection. A building boom will expand capacity in China’s gambling enclave. But to justify their valuations, gaming operators not only need to attract more punters but encourage them to spend more at the tables. Any slowdown or increased competition could test excited multiples.

The former Portuguese colony is running out of room. Hotels are effectively full, even though over half of the 29 million tourists who visited Macau in 2013 were day-trippers. That is why casinos are rapidly adding capacity. The total number of four- and five-star hotel rooms in Macau will grow 40 percent by 2018, according to Las Vegas Sands.

Last year, Macau’s six licenced casino operators raked in some HK$321 billion ($41.4 billion) in combined revenue. If visitor revenues expand in line with hotel capacity, then revenue would reach about HK$450 billion by 2018. Apply the industry’s margin of around 21 percent, and the casinos’ combined EBITDA would reach roughly HK$95 billion.

from India Insight:

Modi, Kejriwal become latest video game characters as developers focus on elections

Politicians are becoming the Super Mario Brothers equivalent for Indian video gamers as 2014 election fever starts to settle over the country.

Software developers have been developing all kinds of new games and apps in recent years as Indians increasingly shift to smartphones of companies such as Samsung, Apple, Micromax and Karbonn. Now politics has crept into the mix.

from MediaFile:

Zynga’s Pincus fights back against copycat accusations

Mark Pincus, the CEO of Zynga, isn't pleased with reports that Zynga is ripping off games from small developers so he is doing something about it--wielding his pen to write passionate manifestos to employees invoking Silicon Valley greats like Apple.

After a game developer accused Zynga of copying a game called "Tiny Tower",  Pincus sent a 60-line memo to employees to make sure his flock knows Zynga has done nothing wrong, (the memo was leaked to the blog VentureBeat and later obtained by Reuters).

from MediaFile:

Microsoft’s Kinect eyes path beyond gaming, into other industries

As Microsoft Corp's Xbox gaming console nears its 10th anniversay, the company said its future may lie beyond gaming.

"That's still the core of what we do, but if you think of the next 10 years of our business, it's all the new opportunities and possibilities that Kinect is opening us up to," Craig Cincotta, director of communications for Xbox, told Reuters.

from MediaFile:

EA cuts out middleman, launches video game download service

It might be a few days before a stampede of people will storm into the LA convention center to catch the video game industry's latest wares but EA wasted no time in getting out the word about its new digital download service, dubbed "Origin."

"Origin", which EA announced on Friday, lets consumers buy and download PC games directly from the publisher online, as well as track all of their games across different platforms.

from Funds Hub:

Catching the wave

SurferDistressed debt investors are pinning their hopes on a second wave of insolvencies in 2010 after banks' refusal to write off bad loans made 2009 something of a damp squib.

Market participants at the launch of Debtwire's European Distressed Debt survey in London today could not hide their frustration at the sticking plaster approach that has been applied to many ailing companies. "Some of these capital structures are irretrievably broken and it doesn't do any good to pretend that they're not," said Richard Nevins, senior partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.

from Breakingviews:

A bold gamble at Harrah’s

Big debts and plunging revenues usually make a toxic cocktail, but it can still go down smoothly with financial engineering.

Take Harrah's Entertainment, where such engineering has come in the form of aggressive balance-sheet rejiggering that has pushed out debt maturities and provided enough cushion that few are worried Harrah's will breach a closely watched debt covenant any time soon.