Higher Q1 revenues,
income at Shuffle Master

Mar 21, 2006 4:10 AM

Shuffle Master Inc. (SHFL) Monday announced revenues and incomes for the first quarter that ended on Jan. 31 that exceeded analyst expectations.

Revenue during the period increased 31% to $33.3 million while pre-tax income from operations jumped 30% to $12.7 million. On a per share basis, earnings were $0.23, an increase of 31% over the corresponding period.

Wall Street consensus was for the company to see revenues at $31 million and earnings at $0.21

Dr. Mark Yoseloff, chairman and CEO, called the period a move "on the heels of another record year for Shuffle Master."

Looking out for the remainder of the year, the company said it was raising its fiscal earnings per share to $1.02 to $1.05, a figure that represents an increase of some 30% over fiscal 2005.

Churchill Downs

Officials of Churchill Downs Inc. (CHDN) expected a big year in 2005, especially since they had just completed a huge renovation of their flagship property in Louisville, Ky. But, that was before the hurricanes damaged the company’s tracks in New Orleans and Florida.

Still, earnings per share from continuing operations were $0.96 per share compared to $0.73 in 2004. That, however, did not include the $254.6 million the company received from the sale of Hollywood Park in California.

With the addition of the profit made from the track sale, Churchill Downs showed earnings of $78.9 million or $5.86 per share.

Although damaged by Hurricane Rita, Calder Race Course was able to return to viability while the Fair Grounds in New Orleans has been idle since taking a hit from Hurricane Katrina. Plans for its reopening remain under consideration.

Another blow to Churchill’s plans was the defeat of a local referendum that would have permitted Calder to install slot machines. The referendum was passed by nearby Broward County, but the voters in Miami-Dade County rejected the proposal.

Despite the problems encountered in 2005, Tom Meeker, president and CEO of Churchill Downs Inc., remained optimistic.

"2005 was a dynamic year during which we achieved double-digit growth in net revenues and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) from out continuing operations, reduced our long-term debt, and advanced strategic growth initiatives while managing business challenges that included three natural disasters that disrupted our operations in Florida, Louisiana and Western Kentucky," he said.

Meeker has already indicated he plans to retire in the next year and the company has announced a search for a successor.

Pinnacle Entertainment

Another gaming company that felt the wrath of Hurricane Katrina was Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. (PNK) but the company was still able to report record revenues and strong financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended on Dec. 31, 2005.

During the fourth quarter, the company had revenues of $227 million, an increase of 73.2% over the $131 million or 2004, primarily due to the May 2005 opening of L’Auberge du Lac in Lake Charles, La.

Adjusted net income for the fourth quarter of 2005 was $9.8 million or $0.23 per share compared to an adjusted net loss of $2.6 million or $0.07 per share in the same period of 2004.

For the full year, the company reported revenues of $725.9 million from $547.1 million and net income of $14.7 million or $0.34 per share compared to the adjusted net income of $300,000 or $0.01 per share in the previous year.

It was a notable year, said Chairman and CEO Dan Lee.

"We achieved many milestones during the year. We opened casinos in Lake Charles, La., and Neuquen, Argentina; broke ground on our two developments in St. Louis, Mo, and submitted applications for casino development in Philadelphia and Chile," he said.