Shares of casino operator Pinnacle Entertainment
Pinnacle, previously known as Hollywood Park, manages five riverboat casinos in Indiana, Louisiana, and Mississippi, as well as land-based casinos in Reno, Nev., and Argentina, and receives lease income from gaming properties in California. After net income plummeted from a $76.8 million profit in 2000 to a $28.2 million loss last year, the company has posted back-to-back profitable periods.
Aside from the Boomtown-Reno, each property turned out solid increases in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). The Casino Magic Argentina posted the largest jump in EBITDA with 74.8% to $1.9 million, with the others ranging from a 52.3% increase in Belterra, Ind., to 7.6% at Boomtown-New Orleans. Companywide adjusted EBITDA grew 27.1% to $27.1 million.
Other than the Bossier City, La., casino -- which is last in a five-horse field that includes Harrah's
Pinnacle has several major projects that are still in the planning stages. Last month, the company announced intentions to expand the budget for a Lake Charles, La., casino to $365 million. The property, in the heart of Cajun country and only a short drive from the Houston market, includes a 746-room hotel and championship golf course. Two St. Louis-area casinos were also recently given the green light, one near the famed Arch in Laclede's Landing and another in Lemay to be accompanied by retail stores, a movie theater, and a bowling alley.
Unlike riverboat pure play Argosy
Fool contributor Nathan Slaughter owns none of the companies mentioned.