Pinnacle Entertainment 1Q loss widens, beats view

Pinnacle Entertainment posts larger 1Q loss, but adjusted figure beats Street view, revenue up

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Pinnacle Entertainment's first-quarter loss widened, dragged down by a hefty charge reflecting the reduced value of an investment. Its adjusted earnings beat Wall Street's view and revenue rose 7 percent.

Shares of the Las Vegas company briefly rose to a nine-year high in trading Wednesday.

The casino operator lost $85.4 million, or $1.46 per share, for the period ended March 31. That compares with a loss of $1 million, or 2 cents per share, a year ago.

The current quarter included a $92.2 million impairment charge related to Pinnacle's minority equity investment in Asian Coast Development (Canada) Ltd.

Taking out the charge and other items, earnings were 25 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet predicted earnings of 19 cents per share.

Revenue rose to $312.6 million from $293 million as it pulled in more money from people gambling, spending on shopping and entertainment and buying food and drinks. Wall Street forecast $313.2 million in revenue.

President and CEO Anthony Sanfilippo said in a statement that the payroll tax hike and tax refund check delays hurt volumes at Pinnacle's casinos.

Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. owns and runs seven casinos in Louisiana, Missouri, and Indiana. It also has a racetrack in Ohio. The company holds a majority stake in the racing license owner, as well as a management contract, for Retama Park Racetrack outside of San Antonio, Texas.

Pinnacle's stock gained 34 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $19.40 in midday trading. Earlier in the session it touched $20.28, the highest point in since late 2004.

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