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Caesars Entertainment Chugs Along

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It wasn't a flashy quarter, but Caesars Entertainment (Nasdaq: CZR  ) slowly made improvements in most of its markets in the first quarter. Results released after the market closed yesterday showed a 4.3% rise in revenue to $2.27 billion and an 11% rise in adjusted EBITDA to $520.7 million.

A writedown of an abandoned project in Mississippi pushed the company's net loss to $280.6 million, or $2.24 per share. Without the $172.0 million charge, the loss would have been smaller than last year, but a loss nonetheless.

Las Vegas leads the way
Similar to the trend we saw from Las Vegas Sands' (NYSE: LVS  ) results, Las Vegas is improving at a steady pace. The company said trips to Las Vegas increased 5.9% in the quarter and property EBITDA grew 9.3% to $211.3 million.

Atlantic City, Louisiana/Mississippi, and Iowa/Missouri regions also saw improvement in EBITDA in the quarter. But Illinois/Indiana and other Nevada regions were a drag on EBITDA overall, so it isn't all peaches and cream out there.

Debt still looms
Caesars' debt has at least stabilized, although it grew slightly during the quarter to $19.9 billion. If Caesars is going to need to grow out of this debt, it is going to need to continue growth even if it is at a slow rate. Las Vegas appears to be on solid footing based on Las Vegas Sands, Caesars, and Wynn Resorts' (Nasdaq: WYNN  ) results, but Caesars' regional locations need to keep pace.

The biggest problem from an investment standpoint is that competitors are quickly lowering their net debt and are actually growing faster than Caesars. Wynn Resorts even announced yesterday that it received formal approval for its Cotai resort, a further push of the company into Macau.

Interested in reading more about Caesars Entertainment? Add it to My Watchlist, and My Watchlist will find all of our Foolish analysis on this stock.

Fool contributor Travis Hoium has no position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings, or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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  • Report this Comment On May 03, 2012, at 4:52 PM, Senescent wrote:

    Travis, I think Caesar's is one of those stocks you short until it goes to zero. There are so many negatives with this stock. First, there is a massive debt overhang. Second, the company has no footprint in Asia - if you don't count the golf course in Macao. Third, the grossly overpaid management team has absolutely no constructive vision for the future. Let's see what they plan - a Ferris wheel on the Strip by the Imperial Palace. And 25 non-gambling resorts in Asia. I begin to wonder if the whole point of the IPO was to squeeze more cash out of investors and run away with the money.

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