Las Vegas-centric casino operators Station Casinos
Harrah's saw fourth-quarter revenues climb 25.1% to $1.19 billion, pumping property EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) up 31.3% to $288.7 million. On an adjusted basis, earnings grew 44% to $0.72 per share. On a GAAP basis, net income was $77 million or $0.68 per share, better than the analyst estimate by $0.02.
Harrah's posted strong gains across almost all of its operations, with the exception of the Atlantic City market. Boosted by continued growth in cross-market play, Harrah's southern Nevada properties saw revenues climb 17.5%, helping segment EBITDA jump 30.4% to $75.5 million. Property EBITDA in Atlantic City fell 10.3%, hurt by a month-long labor strike that has since been resolved.
Elsewhere, the company's recent acquisition of Horseshoe Gaming boosted results in Indiana, Mississippi, and Louisiana. But Harrah's also showed strong performance improvements; revenues climbed 9.3% in the Council Bluffs, Iowa, market, with EBITDA up 55.9%. Meanwhile, the completed expansion project in St. Louis helped revenues grow 9.3% in Missouri, with a 26.4% EBITDA gain.
Overall, same-"store" revenues increased 7.5%.
The healthy performance has Harrah's shares up 3% to $65.67 in mid-afternoon trading, and has also boosted the stocks of regional casino operators Penn National
Harrah's is arguably the best-run casino operator in the industry, and its outlook only gets better. The company's Horseshoe acquisition has given it a dominating position across the riverboat gaming states, while the pending acquisition of Caesars Entertainment
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Fool contributor Jeff Hwang owns shares of Ameristar Casinos.