Construction at Louisiana casino
hurts Isle of Capri earnings

Aug 17, 2004 6:53 AM

Construction disruption at its property in Lake Charles, La., was blamed for a drop in both revenues and net income during the fiscal year’s first quarter for Isle of Capri Inc. (ISLE).

During the period the company reported revenues of $280.9 million compared to $285.8 million in the same period of fiscal 2004. Net income was $10.6 million or $0.34 per share, down from last year’s $13.6 million or $0.45 per share.

Bernard Goldstein, chairman and CEO, explained the quarter by saying, "Our first quarter began with some challenges, including greater than expected construction disruption. However, the end of the quarter produced stronger results."

The company also said it was considering moving its Lake Charles boat to the east bank of the Mississippi River in suburban New Orleans.

Alliance Gaming

Alliance Gaming Corp. (AGI) reversed last year’s losses into profits for the fiscal fourth quarter that ended on June 30 but failed to spark investors’ interest by suggesting that fiscal 2005 would be flat with 2004 and that the earnings would be higher in the second half of the year.

For the fourth quarter, the company reported revenues of $162.8 million compared to last year’s $115.7 million. Earnings for the period amounted to $45.9 million whereas the company experienced a loss of $11.4 million in the comparable period. Income from continuing operations rose to $0.30 per share, easily topping analysts’ expectations of $0.26 per share.

Las Vegas Sands

Although Las Vegas Sands Inc., owner of The Venetian in Las Vegas and Sands Macau is not a publicly traded company, because of its publicly traded bonds, the company reports its experience to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For the second quarter ended on June 30, the company reported profits of $454.6 million compared to $9.6 million a year ago. Included in the profits was a $419.9 million gain on the sale of the Grand Canal Shoppes mall adjoining the Venetian.

The company said the casino revenue at The Venetian rose 20% to $76.2 million while gaming revenue at Sands Macau reached $57.6 million.

Lakes Entertainment

Lakes Entertainment Inc., (LACO) took a major hit during the second quarter that ended on July 4 primarily because of losses attributed to a failed attempt to partner with the Nipmuc Indian Nation to develop a casino in New England.

When the tribe failed to receive recognition from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, LACO was forced to take an impairment charge of $6.4 million. This left the company with a net loss for the quarter of $7.2 million or $0.32 a share. Last year, the company reported earnings of $800,000 or $0.04 per share.

However, the company said it had agreements with three Indian tribes for casinos in Michigan and California. Also, the company last week participated in the initial public offering (IPO) of World Poker Tour LLC, a company in which LACO had an 80% interest. Following the IPO, the company held 12.48 million shares of WPTE for which it paid $0.07 each.

Churchill Downs

Earnings declined even while revenues increased during the second fiscal quarter for Churchill Downs, Inc. (CHDN).

Net revenues for the period reached $191.1 million, a 1.1% increase over last year’s $189 million. But net earnings fell 2.1% to $27.4 million from last year’s $28 million.

On a per share basis, earnings were $2.04, down from last year’s $2.09.

Calling the future uncertain, company officials said ballot questions in both Florida and California could have major impacts on the company.

MTR Gaming Group

Despite higher revenues, earnings fell during the second quarter for MTR Gaming Group Inc. (MNTG), a company that owns two casinos in Las Vegas but whose principal source of revenue is from Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort in West Virginia.

Revenues reached $83.2 million during the quarter, higher that last year’s $75.5 million but net income fell to $0.10 per share compared to last year’s $0.12 per share.

The company said expansions in Ohio, where it purchased Scioto Downs and investments in future racetrack developments in Minnesota and Pennsylvania has held down earnings.

Riviera Holdings

Higher revenues and net income were reported by Riviera Holdings Corporation (RIV) for the second quarter that ended on June 30.

For the period, the company reported revenues of $52.8 million, an increase of 9.2% over 2003. Income from operations was $7.6 million, an increase of $3.1 million over the comparable quarter.

Riviera Las Vegas revenues rose 9.5% to $3.4 million while hotel occupancy was 95.3%, up from last year’s 93.4%. Also, average daily rate for the rooms increased $2.19 to $62.63.

Paulson Gaming

Improved financial results were reported by Paulson Gaming Corp. (PSON) for both the second quarter that ended on June 30 and for the six months of the fiscal year.

During the quarter net income totaled $1.9 million or $0.25 per share. This compared to $1.1 million or $0.16 per share a year earlier.

For the first half of the year, net income amounted to $1.4 million or $0.19 a share. Last year, net income was $596,000 or $0.08 per share.