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Updated: Another MelcoPBL Call plus Venetian Macao Review

I've you've read this already, see the update at the end.

I pinged my MelcoPBL contact to follow up on some of the unresolved questions from the last call and we've scheduled to talk this week. Last time the call was postponed numerous times so don't get too excited quite yet.

Anyways, the topics I'm going to probe include Mocha Clubs, more City of Dreams renderings, the peninsula project aka The Trinity and a follow up on some City of Dreams items, including seeing if more details about the managed apartments have been decided.

As before, if you have questions you would like answered feel free to post them in the comments or email them to us. Reader macauman posted a ton last time and we managed to get most of them answered. I can't guarantee that every single one will be asked or answered, but the MelcoPBL folks were unbelievably generous with their time last call and answered everything that they could.

Update: MelcoPBL confirmed the call for Wednesday night, they also mentioned that some sort of announcement will be posted to the MelcoPBL website this week. They didn't say what exactly it was concerning, but did say that whatever it is could essentially frame a lot of the questions I previewed to them in an earlier email. Could be more City of Dreams details, could be an announcement about the Mocha Slots expansion, could be Trinity, I really have no idea. I'm going to guess that it will be City of Dreams and/or Mocha related.

In other matters, I'm finally getting around to cropping the photos and polishing up the text of the unbelievably long - and long awaited - review of the Venetian Macao, which I previewed in a blog post here. I don't really want to break the room review up into multiple pieces, but there's a good chance this might clock in at about 20 pages because there are so many photos. Regardless, the Venetian Macao review is priority #1 for me this week, so keep your eyes peeled. If you can't wait, why not give yourself a refresh of our other super duper Macau hotel room reviews.

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Comments & Discussion:

That sounds really great! I'm really looking forward to hearing about the latest updates at MelcoPBL. That said, some of the other things I would like to know more about:
1) Timeline for CoD project - when the exterior is scheduled for completion, when interior is expected to be done, expected soft opening etc.
2) Any figures regarding March market share? (according to Lehman Brothers, they had 25% market share for March - is that accurate?)
3) Do they plan on extending their AMA arrangement to CoD when it opens? Apparently the Crown is starting to be a bit short of capacity so are they thinking of bring the 'overflow' VIPs to the CoD instead of the Crown?
4) Any guess when their next earnings report is going to be - is May 15 in the ballpark range?
5) Have they seen a downturn in the growth of their VIP segment recently as the other operators begin to restructure their VIP commission rates? - in particular, has SJM started to 'take back' some of their VIP business from MPEL?
6) Have their been new junket operators appearing in the market?

I would really appreciate it if at least some of these questions could be answered. I understand much of it may be unknown or confidential information, but I would really like to find out as much as possible.

Chuck, I'm really looking forward to hearing what your contact has to tell us.
Thanks for your hard work.

FYI - This was the week that they released their Annual Report last year - dated April 12, 2007. Perhaps that's what they will be putting out this week.

Hi Chuck,

Really looking forward to the MelcoPBL call. Really, really looking forward to the Venetian review! I'll be keeping an eye on this page!

Anyway, I guess the 'announcement' expected on MPEL's webpage this week is probably...good news, right? In your opinion, it probably isn't a 'bad news' announcement, eh (such as a delay etc)?

Thanks
Jason

The Annual Report isn't exactly an announcement, however, I contacted the company last week and they verified that the new report will be out very soon that will answer a few loose-end questions.

Perhaps, they will announce progress on moving forward with the "Trinity" project on the main penninsula (That'd be my guess).

Attn: Melco marketing dept. (IR)

Send out a press release announcing progress in the VIP market, market share, or that you are now the "busiest casino in the world." It's kind of a big deal.

Don't be scared to advertise progress within the company. Not only does it keep your investors in the loop, it is a good, "free" marketing tool as well.

Hopefully that's what they were already planning for their 'announcement'. MPEL is up 5% today...is that in expectation of this mysterious 'announcement'?

Is it safe to assume this 'announcement' is going to be made before Wednesday night?

AMA just released March 2008 rolling chip volume figures:
AMA had recorded an unaudited rolling chip turnover of approximately HK$41.3 billion for the period between 1 March 2008 to 31 March 2008.

Link:
🔗 
click on the entry for April 7

Is the March AMAX rolling chip volume news release the "announcement" that we were expecting? Or is there some other info being released this week? After all, AMAX's announcement isn't really a Melco/MPEL announcement...

JC - it's gotta be something else, A) MPEL wouldn't be able to announce AMAX's rolling chip #'s, I'd think that AMAX would have to make that formal announcement (which they did earlier), and B) from the sounds of it the announcement was going to be an official press release ("Posted on the Melco PBL website"), of which nothing's been posted since the topping out ceremony last week.

Looking forward to whatever the announcement is though... the stock has been behaving very nicely since last Tuesday, hoping it runs through the next 2 weeks and into earnings. Good luck!

As I said in the post, I have no idea what is in the announcement. I sent them the list of topics I wanted to ask about (in the post) and they said that the announcement would 'frame' what we would talk about. Either they don't want to talk about what I've presented, or what they're presenting is related to what I've suggested. I really have no idea.

Well, as always, we all appreciate it.

I hope they keep their appointment with you tomorrow. Do you live in Vegas Chuck? You need to get Adelson to hook you up on one of his private Vegas to Macau jets.

FYI - MPEL did release their annual report this morning. It's on their website.

www.melco-pbl.com

The Annual Report is the "announcement". In the 6-K form, they plan to issue a press release basically saying that they have released their annual report.

The report itself doesn't have much info. that we don't already know, and doesn't mention at all the recent market share trends.

Hi Chuck,

I hope the call with MPEL went through last night. Did you manage to find out some new information from them?

Jason

I imagine I'm not the only one that has checked this board ~ 14 times an hour since yesterday, huh?

Chuck, word is DB came out with some pretty damn strong estimates for MPEL for the month of March, and also is seeing very strong Macau gaming for April.

Ughhhhh...the wait is killing me! BrokenQB: maybe Chuck is writing a really long report on his findings...which means a lot of new info! I hope that's the case because I'm really looking forward to seeing what Chuck found out.

no call last night, hoping to hook up tonight. thanks for the patience on this... the last time we played footsie for a week or so until it finally happened. we'll see...

Oh...that's unfortunate. I really hope they call soon!

Chuck, if you happen to speak with them in the next few days, can you ask them to communicate to the investment world that they have just concluded their best quarter ever, setting all sorts of records? (assuming this is the case, of course)

MelcoPBL's management has created so much distrust within the investment community, the stock is STILL below the price it was when the AMAX deal was announced back in December, even after the ridiculous rolling chip and market share #'s... it's amazing (and very disappointing).

They owe us at least that much for being patient, IMO. :)

Keep up the great work!

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