Source: Aztar Corporation
AZTAR REPORTS RECORD FIRST-QUARTER RESULTS, EPS OF 28
April 18, 2001
Corporation (NYSE: AZR) today announced record first-quarter operating
cash flow, operating income and net income. Highlights of the quarter,
ended March 29, 2001, were:
“Despite tough comparisons to last year’s record
first-quarter results and this year’s adverse weather conditions, our first
quarter this year set new records. Our results reflect the successful
and ongoing efforts of our management to market to patrons with higher
profit value and to pay attention to the cost side of our operations,”
said Paul E. Rubeli, Aztar chairman of the board, president and chief executive
Earnings per share of 28 cents, diluted, compared with 25 cents per
share a year earlier.
Net income of $11.4 million compared with $11.0 million last year.
Operating income of $28.8 million compared with $28.4 million.
Operating cash flow of $46.7 million compared with $46.2 million in the
Operating cash flow margin of 22.4% compared with 21.9% last year.
“We continue to focus on programs that increase
quality revenues with higher profit components and to cull out those revenues
that prove to be marginally beneficial in producing operating cash flow.
We are committed to our goal of increasing cash flows in 2001 at each of
our five properties, and we have a high level of confidence that we will
be able to do so.”
Operating cash flow, as measured by earnings before
interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and rent (EBITDAR) now has
increased over the year-earlier quarter in 20 of the last 21 quarters.
For the last twelve months, EBITDAR was $187.1 million.
Tropicana Atlantic City
Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City reported
first-quarter operating cash flow of $23.4 million, compared with a record
$24.6 million in the comparable 2000 quarter. This year’s quarter
represents the second best first quarter in the Tropicana’s history.
Revenues declined 4% due primarily to harsh winter weather, particularly
a major storm over New Year’s Eve weekend which fell in our fiscal first
quarter. Operating cash flow margin was 21.9%, down from 22.2% last
Tropicana Las Vegas
Tropicana Resort and Casino in Las Vegas reported
first-quarter operating cash flow of $7.6 million, compared to $6.0 million
a year ago. Revenues increased 8% and operating cash flow margin
increased 2.6 points to 18.5%.
Ramada Express Laughlin
Ramada Express Hotel and Casino in Laughlin, Nevada
reported first-quarter operating cash flow of $8.2 million, matching last
year’s record first quarter. Revenues in the first quarter decreased
by 4%, but operating cash flow margin increased one point to 30.6%.
Casino Aztar Evansville
Casino Aztar, the company’s riverboat casino in
Evansville, Indiana, reported first-quarter cash flow of $9.5 million,
compared with $9.3 million in the year-earlier period. Revenues declined
3% but operating margin increased two points to 35%.
Casino Aztar Caruthersville
Casino Aztar, the company’s riverboat casino in
Caruthersville, Missouri, reported $1.3 million of first-quarter operating
cash flow, compared with $1.1 million in the year-earlier period.
Revenues increased 2%, and operating cash flow margins increased 2.4 points
Balance Sheet Items
Long-term debt, including the current portion, was
$456 million at the end of the first quarter, down from $465 million at
the end of fiscal 2000. Cash and cash equivalents were $43
million compared to $48 million at year end. The company’s ratio
of long-term debt to EBITDA remained at 2.7 times compared to the end of
fiscal 2000. There were 37.8 million shares outstanding at the end of the
During the first quarter of 2001, the company purchased
1.0 million shares of Aztar common stock at prices ranging from $9.00 per
share to $13.33 per share at an average price of $11.14 per share.
From the beginning of the share repurchase program in May 1999 through
March 29, 2001, the company purchased 9.6 million shares at prices ranging
from $6.69 per share to $15.63 per share at an average price of $11.45
The company’s fiscal first-quarter 2001 earnings
conference call will be broadcast live on the Internet beginning at 11
a.m. Eastern Daylight Time today. Individuals may access the live audio
webcast through our website at www.aztar.com
and at www.streetfusion.com.
The call also will be available on replay through our corporate website
and streetfusion.com for 30 days following the call.
Aztar is a publicly traded company that operates
Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Tropicana Resort
and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ramada Express Hotel and Casino in Laughlin,
Nevada, Casino Aztar in Caruthersville, Missouri, and Casino Aztar in Evansville,
The disclosures herein include
statements that are ‘forward looking’ within the meaning of federal securities
law. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified
by phrases such as the company “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “foresees,”
“forecasts,” “estimates,” or other words or phrases of similar import.
Similarly, statements herein that describe the company’s business strategy,
outlook, objectives, plans, intentions or goals are also forward-looking
statements. Such forward-looking information involves important risks
and uncertainties that could significantly affect results in the future
and, accordingly, such results may differ from those expressed in any forward-looking
statements made by or on behalf of the company. These risks and uncertainties
include, but are not limited to, those relating to economic conditions,
the cyclical nature of the hotel business and the gaming business, competition,
the effects of weather, legislative and regulatory matters, and reliance
on key personnel. For more information, review the company’s filings
with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the company’s annual
report on Form 10-K for December 28, 2000 and certain registration statements
of the company.