Back in November, riverboat casino operator Argosy Gaming
Argosy posted solid fourth-quarter results this morning, showing net revenue growth of 10.3% to $255.7 million. Meanwhile, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) climbed 8.5% to $62.5 million as net income jumped 31.6% to $17.9 million or $0.60 per share. That figure beat the analyst earnings estimate of $0.56 per share.
As was the case in the third quarter, the performance gains came primarily from the company's recently enhanced operations in Kansas City and Sioux City, Iowa. Thanks to a new single-level barge opened in December 2003, net revenue at the Argosy Riverside in the Kansas City market jumped 45% to $34.8 million, pumping EBITDA up 180% to $11.1 million. The Sioux City property benefited from an increase in gaming capacity, as its previous riverboat was replaced by the riverboat formerly used at Argosy Riverside. As a result, net revenues in Sioux City grew 30% to $13.5 million, leading to a 55% gain in EBITDA to $4.8 million.
Argosy's flagship operation just outside of Cincinnati, which accounts for about 40% of the company's revenues and more than half of EBITDA, reported mostly flat results.
Following the pending merger -- expected during the second half of 2005 -- the combined Penn National will be the third-largest casino operator in the country, behind the soon-to-be-merged Vegas Strip giants MGM Mirage
Fool contributor Jeff Hwang owns none of the companies mentioned above.