For Steve Wynn, dividend boost brings a US$12mil windfall

Visitors walk in front of Wynn Macau casino resort in Macau June 5, 2012. - REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

TOKYO: Turns out Steve Wynn will get a severance package of sorts after all. Wynn Resorts Ltd. late Wednesday unexpectedly raised its dividend by 50%, an increase that will deliver an extra US$12mil into its founder’s bank account over the next year.

The casino operator said last month that Wynn, who resigned over allegations that he pressured employees for sex, wouldn’t receive a severance package and would lose benefits such as health insurance and a villa leased to him from the resort, as the company looked to cut all ties with Wynn.

Wynn Resorts’ dividend boost means Wynn can still walk away with more cash in his pocket. The operator plans to raise its annual dividend by US$1, to US$3 a share starting in 2018, surprising analysts who had expected no change. 

For Wynn, who holds about 12.1 million shares of the company, that dividend payout translates to an extra US$12.1mil for the year.

The company, which has kept its payout steady for the past three years, cited the strength and stability of its business portfolio for the increase. Wynn Resorts also said Wednesday that Ray Irani, one of its longer-serving board members, resigned this week, while director Alvin Shoemaker won’t seek re-election when his term ends in 2019.

The steps allay investor concerns about the company’s direction after Wynn relinquished leadership, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Brian Egger and Caitlin Noselli.

Shares of Wynn Resorts gained 1% to US$168.41 in New York on Wednesday. The stock is down 16% from a high of US$200.60 on Jan. 25, before a Wall Street Journal article detailed the allegations of sexual harassment against Wynn. - Bloomberg
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