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AZTAR REPORTS IMPROVEMENT IN FIRST QUARTER

 AZTAR REPORTS IMPROVEMENT IN FIRST QUARTER
 PHOENIX, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Aztar Corp. (NASDAQ-NMS: AZTR)


today reported first-quarter 1992 income of $920,000, or 2 cents per share, before the cumulative effect of an accounting change related to income taxes that resulted in a gain of $7.5 million, or 19 cents per share. The company reported net income for the 1992 quarter of $8.4 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $5.1 million, or 14 cents per share, in the comparable 1991 quarter.
 Revenues for the quarter ended April 2, 1992, were $117.7 million, compared with $111.6 million in the quarter ended April 4, 1991. Operating profit before net rent was $14.1 million, compared with $9.6 million in the first quarter of 1991.
 The company reported these first-quarter 1992 results by property:
 -- TropWorld Casino and Entertainment Resort, Atlantic City, N.J.: Revenues, $75.0 million vs. $68.3 million in the first quarter of 1991; operating profit before net rent, $11.8 million vs. $6.7 million.
 -- The Ramada Express Hotel and Casino in Laughlin, Nev.: Revenues of $12.3 million vs. $10.9 million a year earlier; operating profit before net rent of $3.2 million compared with $1.9 million.
 -- The Tropicana Resort and Casino, Las Vegas: Revenues, $30.4 million vs. $32.4 million in the 1991 period; operating profit before net rent, $1.1 million vs. $3.0 million.
 "TropWorld and the Ramada Express delivered impressive results in the first quarter, with increases in operating profit of 76 percent and 68 percent, respectively," said Paul E. Rubeli, Aztar chairman, president and chief executive officer. "At the Tropicana, good progress was made toward our goal of penetrating the high end of the middle market: revenues from table games other than baccarat were up 7 percent and slot revenue was up 24 percent. But substantially lower baccarat revenue caused operating profit at the Tropicana to fall below last year's level."
 The accounting change is a result of Aztar's adoption during the quarter of the Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 109, which addresses financial accounting and reporting for the effects of income taxes.
 AZTAR CORP. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Consolidated Statements of Operations
 (Unaudited)
 (In thousands, except per share data)
 Quarter Ended
 April 2, April 4,
 1992 1991
 Revenues
 Casino $98,558 $90,880
 Rooms 7,890 8,476
 Food and beverage 9,017 10,109
 Other 2,204 2,116
 Total 117,669 111,581
 Costs and Expenses
 Casino 46,793 44,754
 Rooms 4,918 5,121
 Food and beverage 8,726 9,681
 Other 1,615 1,724
 Marketing 10,953 10,014
 General and administrative 11,695 11,431
 Utilities 2,539 2,481
 Repairs and maintenance 4,216 4,151
 Provision for doubtful accounts 1,066 1,824
 Property taxes and insurance 4,015 3,819
 Depreciation and amortization 7,081 6,934
 Total 103,617 101,934
 Operating profit before net rent 14,052 9,647
 Net rent (11,960) (12,259)
 Interest income 6,442 6,987
 Interest expense (6,828) (8,228)
 Other income/(expense) 903 181
 Income/(Loss) before other items,
 income taxes and cumulative effect
 of accounting change 2,609 (3,672)
 Equity in unconsolidated
 partnership's loss (1,060) (1,384)
 Income/(Loss) before income taxes
 and cumulative effect of
 accounting change 1,549 (5,056)
 (Provision)/Benefit for income taxes (629) ---
 Income/(Loss) before cumulative effect
 of accounting change 920 (5,056)
 Cumulative effect of accounting change 7,500 ---
 Net income/(loss) $8,420 ($5,056)
 Quarter Ended
 April 2, April 4,
 1992 1991
 Earnings per common and common
 equivalent share:
 Income/(Loss)
 before cumulative effect of
 accounting change $.02 ($.14)
 Cumulative effect of accounting
 change .19 ---
 Net income/(loss) $.21 ($.14)
 Earnings per common share assuming
 full dilution:
 Income/(Loss) before cumulative
 effect of accounting change $.02 (c)
 Cumulative effect of accounting
 change .19 (c)
 Net income/(loss) $.21 (c)
 Weighted average common shares
 applicable to:
 Earnings per common and common
 equivalent share 38,969 38,509
 Earnings per common share assuming
 full dilution 40,030 (c)
 AZTAR CORP. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Consolidated Balance Sheet Summaries
 (in thousands)
 April 2, Jan. 2,
 1992 1992
 (unaudited)
 Assets:
 Current assets $107,870 $120,838
 Property and equipment 391,172 394,852
 Investments and long-term
 receivables 105,848 105,688
 Other assets 16,539 17,096
 Total $621,429 $638,474
 Liabilities and Shareholders'
 Equity:
 Current liabilities $67,244 $93,319
 Long-term debt 177,256 176,693
 Other long-term liabilities 48,797 47,503
 Preferred stock 2,305 2,059
 Shareholders' equity 325,827 318,900
 Total $621,429 $638,474
 AZTAR CORP. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
 (unaudited)
 (a) Earnings per common and common equivalent share are computed based on the weighted average number of common shares outstanding after consideration of the dilutive effect of stock options. Earnings per common share, assuming full dilution, are computed based on the weighted average number of common shares outstanding after consideration of the dilutive effect of stock options and the assumed conversion of the preferred stock at the stated rate. Earnings for both computations are adjusted for dividends on the preferred stock.
 (b) In February 1992, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 109, Accounting for Income Taxes ("SFAS 109"), which supersedes Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 96 with the same title ("SFAS 96"). SFAS 96 was never adopted by the company. The company adopted the provisions of SFAS 109 in the first quarter of 1992 and elected not to restate prior-year financial statements. The effect from prior years of adopting SFAS 109 as of the beginning of fiscal 1992 is a net tax benefit of $7,500,000 and it is reflected in the Statement of Operations as the Cumulative effect of accounting change.
 (c) Anti-dilutive
 -0- 4/23/92
 /CONTACT: Joe Cole, VP-corporate communications of Aztar, 602-381-4111/
 (AZTR) CO: Aztar Corp. ST: Arizona IN: CNO LEI SU: ERN


EH-JL -- LA008 -- 1676 04/23/92 09:12 EDT
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