Shares of Caesars Entertainment (CZR 1.78%) jumped as much as 10.4% in early trading on Wednesday after the company reported first-quarter 2021 financial results. Shares settled down slightly as the day went on and closed up 7.8%.
Net revenue for the quarter was $1.7 billion, but net loss was $423 million, or $2.03 per share. Results include the merger with Eldorado Resorts completed last year and are still lumpy as casinos recover from the pandemic.
What investors were focused on more than the numbers was management's comments about what the rest of the year looks like for entertainment stocks. CEO Tom Reeg said he expects the company to generate at least $1 billion in EBITDA -- earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization -- in at least one quarter this year. That would be an amazing accomplishment given casinos were shut down a year ago.
The recovery in entertainment and gambling appears to be happening quickly, and Caesars has said that weekend rooms were already 85% full in the first quarter. And like other companies, Caesars is seeing larger event demand picking up for the second half of the year. Given management's bullish comments for the rest of the year, investors are bidding up shares, and the stock's strong run could continue if results continue to improve.