Casino Earnings Reports

A strong March has prompted two of Las Vegas’ major gaming company leaders to agree better days are coming during the rest of 2014.
For the first time in months (possibly years) Steve Wynn, in reporting on the financial experience of Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) during the first quarter of the current fiscal year, told analysts and investors he was “feeling good” about the direction Las Vegas was headed, something he had not been feeling in the past.
This echoed the sentiments of Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International (MGM), who said he was impressed with his company’s increasing convention business and the response to its strong slate of weekend events.
But, both turned to their success in Macau when reporting their quarterly profits.
Wynn reported his company had recorded revenues totaling $1.51 billion during the first quarter, a 9.8 percent increase over last year. Net income was $226.9 million or $2.22 per share. In 2013, the first quarter income was $203 million or $2 per share.
Boosting the company’s earnings were Macau revenues that were up 14.2 percent.
MGM reported net income of $108.2 million or $0.21 per share, topping last year’s $6.5 million or $0.01 per share.
Revenue during the period was up 12 percent to $2.63 billion, the company reported.
Both Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts are currently building additional Macau facilities on the Cotai Strip. The properties are expected to go online sometime in 2016.
Also, both companies are vying for casino licenses in Massachusetts. MGM is likely to receive a license for a project in Springfield while Wynn Resorts is battling Mohegan Sun for a casino license in the Boston area. Wynn would locate in Everett while Mohegan Sun has designated property in Revere for its site.
However, those plans could fall apart should the State Supreme Judicial Court permit the state’s voters to express a negative opinion on casinos in a November referendum. The Court heard arguments Monday on whether the ballot question should be permitted.
Boyd Gaming
Boyd Gaming Corp. (BYD) continued on a losing streak during the first quarter of 2014, although the loss was less than what the company experienced a year ago.
The company said it lost $6.2 million or $0.06 per share compared to last year’s loss of $7.3 million or $0.07 per share.
Revenue during the most recent period was $708.3 million, down about 4 percent from last year’s $735.6 million. Like many companies that operated casinos in the east and in the Midwest, severe winter weather played a major part in affecting their performance.
Also noted was the loss of $3.2 million that was posted by the company’s Atlantic City operation at the Borgata Hotel/Casino/Spa. The loss was attributed to Borgata’s one-time marketing costs related to the launching of the online program.
Bally Tech
Bally Technologies Inc. (BYI) reported record revenues for its third fiscal quarter, primarily because of its acquisition of SHFL, the former Shuffle Master that is a major supplier of board games and shuffling machines.
Revenue for the period was $338.4 million. This compared to last year’s $259.1 million.
As for earnings, the company said it was $66.1 million or $0.70 per share compared to last year’s $60.7 million or $0.93 per share.
Company officials said they were on track to save $40 million in cost synergies due to their acquisition of SHFL. And, they said, the business was turning out to be everything they expected.
Churchill Downs
By expanding into the slots and casino business, Churchill Downs Inc. (CHDN) has been able to boost its revenue to record levels, company officials reported in dealing with the first quarter of fiscal 2014.
During the period, the company had revenues of $167.3 million, easily better than last year’s $147.9 million.
However, the company incurred a net loss during the quarter. The loss was $700,000 or $0.04 per share. In the comparable quarter last year the company had net income of $1.1 million or $0.06 per share.
Among the reasons for the loss, the company said, was the expense of $1.1 million for the development of an Internet gaming platform and $600,000 spent on efforts to promote gaming legislation in Kentucky.

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