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LAS VEGAS–Earnings plunged for Wynn Resorts Ltd. in the second quarter, but the company posted a $25.5 million profit, surpassing financial analysts’ expectations that the company would lose a penny a share. Company chairman Steve Wynn called the performance “better than most people thought” during a conference call in which he expressed concern about US government financial programs and the continuing uncertainty about the economy.

Wynn Resorts’ $25.5 million profit in the second quarter equated to 21 cents per diluted share, a steep fall from the $272 million and $2.42 per share that the gaming company earned in the second quarter last year, but this year’s second-quarter results showed a marked improvement over the first-quarter loss of $34 million this year. Adjusted net income in the second quarter this year was $11.5 million and nine cents per diluted share after one-time items were figured, compared with an adjusted net income of $124.3 million, or $1.11 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2008.

Steve Wynn said in the conference call that the company was “as satisfied as you can be at a time when the world is still uncertain, consumer confidence is weak and the administration is more of a problem than a help.” Said Wynn, “For now, we’re more afraid of Washington than we are of the economy.” The company chairman cited “fears of runaway inflation” if federal deficits are permitted to mount, although he observed, “The good news is that the Senate seems to be slowing it down.”

Wynn expressed optimism about the company’s business in Las Vegas and in China, where it is building an expansion of Wynn Macau called Encore at Wynn Macau that is expected to open in the first half of 2010. The expansion will add a resort hotel to Wynn Macau with approximately 400 luxury suites and four villas, along with additional gaming spaces, food and beverage and retail amenities. The project budget is approximately $650 million. “Things seem to be stabilizing in Las Vegas and China,” Wynn said, pointing out that the Encore project is on time and on budget.

Wynn Resorts’ earnings came on net revenues o f$723.3 millionf or the second quarter, compared to $825.2 million in the second quarter of 2008. The company’s earnings statement pointed out, however, that results of operations for the periods presented are not comparable as the three months ended June 30, 2009 include Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, which opened on December 22, 2008. Figures for the previous year quarter included only Wynn Las Vegas.

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