SEC to Wynn Resorts: Let’s See the Books

On Monday, Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) said it had received a letter from the SEC asking about company donations and its gaming licenses in Macau. Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn responded to employees in a memo stating his main investor, former best friend, Kazuo Okada, had gone against the board by developing a casino project in the Philippines, and Wynn Resorts’ $135 million donation to the University of Macau complied with all “applicable laws and regulations.”

He also stated, Okada, who voted against the donation, only did so because the payments would be made over 11 years and not because of “its propriety.” He furthermore declared Okada as a “significant new competitor.”

A source close to Wynn said the donation may seem large but it pays substantially more in taxes. Last year Wynn Macau paid $185 billion in gaming takes. Okada has hired a publicity firm in the U.S. so it is not a surprise the SEC is getting involved.

Here’s how shares of WYNN are reacting to the news:

Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ:WYNN): WYNN shares recently traded at $110.30, up $0.24, or 0.22%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $101.02 to $172.58. Volume today was 1,234,559 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 2,684,880 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 22.70, while trailing earnings are $4.88 per share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laurie Danas at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com