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MGM beats odds, analysts

Apr 23, 2002 6:57 AM

New York City is rebounding. So are New York-New York and MGM Mirage.

The giant casino company beat expectations, posting higher cash flows and gaming revenue in the first quarter. Net income of $82 million, or 51 cents a share, topped the consensus estimate of 34 to 43 cents per share.

High-end action helped to fuel the post-9/11 comeback. MGM Mirage executives now estimate that the company’s Strip resorts pull a whopping two-thirds of whale play.

New York-New York was singled out for a 13.5 percent increase in cash flow and its higher occupancy rates. Those gains came even as the resort is in the midst of refurbishing portions of its casino floor and room towers.

Across the street, John Redmond, CEO of MGM Grand Resorts, called the MGM Garden’s spring entertainment slate among the "best lineups" in Las Vegas history. Following Paul McCartney and the Mayweather-Castillo fight will be Robin Williams, Brooks and Dunn, Cher, Jimmy Buffett, the PRCA Rodeo and a host of others.

Although execs declined to forecast revenues for the remainder of the year, their cost-cutting campaign has clearly paid off. Lower room rates and streamlined staffing helped offset a drop in traffic.

"While we are not yet at normalized operational levels at our Las Vegas resorts, this marketplace has proven itself far more resilient than most had predicted,’’ Chairman Terry Lanni said.

Company officials also reported:

  • Debt has been reduced $1.15 billion since the merger.

  • Detroit is expected to announce a permanent site for the MGM casino within the next two months.

  • Work will proceed on a $1 billion casino next to the new Borgata resort in Atlantic City. Redmond had said earlier that MGM Mirage would "reconsider" the project after Gov. James McGreevey proposed taxing hotel comps.