Melco Crown is returning capital to its shareholders

Dividend announcement

On February 12, 2015, Melco Crown Entertainment’s (MPEL) board considered and approved the declaration and payment of a quarterly dividend of $0.0171 per ordinary share of the company for 4Q14. This dividend will be paid on or about March 16, 2015. It will be paid to its shareholders on record as of March 4, 2015.

Melco Crown is returning capital to its shareholders

Dividend payments

On February 25, 2014, Melco Crown Entertainment’s board declared a special dividend of $0.1147 per share. The dividends were $189,459. They were paid to shareholders on April 16, 2014. Since then, Melco Crown Entertainment regularly paid quarterly dividends of $0.0431, $0.0259, and $0.0239 per ordinary share in June, September, and December 2014, respectively.

Melco Crown Entertainment’s capacity to pay dividend depends on its accumulated and future earnings, cash balance, and future commitments at the time the dividend is declared.

These dividend payments were made to the shareholders in Hong Kong dollars. The dividend payments were made in US dollars for the holders of the American depositary share, or ADS, of Melco Crown Entertainment. Each ADS represents three ordinary shares.

It should be noted that casino companies—like Wynn Resorts (WYNN) and Las Vegas Sands (LVS)—also pay regular dividends. In 4Q14, Wynn Resorts approved a cash dividend of $1.50 per common share. Las Vegas Sands paid a recurring quarterly dividend of $0.50 per common share during 4Q14. This was an increase of 42.9%—compared to 4Q13.

A good way to get access to these companies is to invest in ETFs like the VanEck Vectors Gaming ETF (BJK) and the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLY).

Key takeaways from the 4Q14 earnings call

Geoffrey Stuart Davis, CFO of Melco Crown Entertainment, said that “…we returned over 640 million to shareholders in calendar year 2014 with 340 million return via dividends and approximately 300 million through our share repurchase programs.”