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LAS VEGAS-Las Vegas Sands Corp. has some properties that continue to generate cash flow, and the company is chopping costs to the tune of $500 million, but the weight of the recession dragged down its overall performance to a loss of more than $171 million in the latest quarter, compared with net income of $73 million in the comparable quarter a year ago. The Sands Corp., which reported its earnings Thursday and talked with financial analysts during a conference call, is making money at its properties in Las Vegas and Macau.

The Sands’ second-quarter loss came on revenue of $1.06 billion, a decrease of 4.8% compared to $1.11 billion in the second quarter of 2008. In explaining its $171 million net loss for this year’s second quarter, the gaming company cited “difficult operating conditions, the settlement of a legal matter, a non-cash impairment loss of $151.2 million, related principally to a decrease in expected future proceeds from our sale of the Shoppes at The Palazzo, and an increase in depreciation and amortization expense.” Without these one-time events and excluding the legal settlement and impairment loss, operating income would have been $22.3 million, the company said.

The Sands Corp.’s chairman and CEO, Sheldon G. Adelson, said in the conference call that the company is pursuing three principal courses to cope with current market conditions. One of these is to maximize our cash flow from operations that are making money in Las Vegas and Macau by implementing cost savings programs designed to right-size its global operations. These savings programs are now targeted to achieve at least $500 million in annualized cost reductions, Adelson said.

The second of the three elements is to complete the Marina Bay Sands development that the Sands Corp. has under way in Singapore, and the third is, in Adelson’s words, “to enhance our financial flexibility by advancing opportunities that will increase liquidity and enable us to execute our de-leveraging strategy.”

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