So I’m looking at what’s new on the old RSS, and I see Felix reminding me that tomorrow is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Just below it is a post from Long or Short Capital, with this gem from Las Vegas Sands’ second quarter earnings conference call:
Analyst Q: Can I ask about the Sands on the peninsula? All of the revenue components are down, and yet your EBITDAR margin is up an impressive six points, and your EBITDAR is up 13%. How do you do that?
Sheldon Adelson, LVS Chairman: By cooking the books! Just kidding, just kidding. Mike, do you want to answer that?
Obviously I’m supposed to be impressed by Adelson’s wit or brazenness or stupidity or whatever. But what really caught my eye was the acronym EBITDAR. According to the most recent LVS 10Q:
Adjusted EBITDAR is net loss attributable to Las Vegas Sands Corp. before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, pre-opening expense, development expense, other income (expense), loss on early retirement of debt, loss on disposal of assets, impairment loss, rental expense, corporate expense, stock-based compensation expense and noncontrolling interest.
That sounds an awful lot like a financial metric I once tried to popularize, Earnings Excluding Bad Stuff (EEBS). EBITDAR sounds even better, though, because it sounds like pirate talk.
So Sheldon Adelson (pronounced Add-el-son, in case you were wondering) may no longer be on track to pass Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to become the richest person in America. But he can talk like a pirate on International Talk Like a Pirate Day and be doing his job at the very same time. Which is something.
Update: Looking through the EBITDAR definitition above, it’s not clear what the “R” stands for. In fact, the proper acronym would appear to be EBITDAPOEDEOILERDLDAILRECESBCENI, which is something a pirate would never say. According to InvestorWords.com, it stands for “rent.” But I prefer Barbara’s suggestion: “reality.”