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AZTAR REPORTS STRONG THIRD QUARTER

 AZTAR REPORTS STRONG THIRD QUARTER
 PHOENIX, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Aztar Corp. (NASDAQ-NMS: AZTR)


announced today net income of $8.5 million, or 22 cents per share, fully diluted, for its third quarter, a 27 percent increase from net income of $6.7 million, or 16 cents per share, fully diluted, in the comparable 1991 period.
 Aztar reported revenues of $141.2 million for the quarter ended Oct. 1, 1992, an increase of 9 percent from $129.8 million in the quarter ended Oct. 3, 1991. Operating income for the most recent quarter was $15.1 million, a 63 percent increase from $9.3 million a year earlier.
 The company reported these operating results by property:
 -- TropWorld Casino and Entertainment Resort, Atlantic City, N.J.: Revenues of $95.8 million vs. $87.6 million in the third quarter of 1991; operating income of $14.3 million vs. $9.6 million a year earlier. Operating income is after $9.2 million of net rent in the 1992 quarter compared with $9.6 million a year earlier.
 -- Tropicana Resort and Casino, Las Vegas: Revenues of $34.2 million, compared with $32.1 million in the third quarter of 1991; operating income of $1.1 million compared with $495,000. Operating income is after $1.7 million in net rent in the most recent quarter, compared with $2.0 million a year earlier.
 -- Ramada Express Hotel and Casino, Laughlin, Nev.: Revenues of $11.2 million vs. $10.1 million in the third quarter of 1991; operating income of $1.7 million vs. $1.2 million.
 "Revenues and operating income were higher in all three of Aztar's casino hotels during the third quarter," said Paul E. Rubeli, Aztar chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer. "We are especially pleased with the results at Ramada Express. This operating momentum sets the stage for the significant contribution we expect to receive from the expansion now under construction at Ramada Express."
 The company began a major expansion of Ramada Express in September. The addition of a 1,095-room hotel tower will nearly quadruple the size of the hotel, and the addition of 20,000 square feet of casino space will increase gaming capacity by more than 50 percent. The expansion, which will make Ramada Express one of the largest casino hotels in Laughlin, is scheduled for completion in September 1993.
 For the first nine months of 1992, Aztar reported net income of $23.0 million, or 57 cents per share, fully diluted, compared with $4.2 million, or nine cents per share, on revenues of $390.5 million, an increase of 7 percent, from $364.6 million in the 1991 period. Operating income was $28.5 million, compared with $12.5 million a year earlier. The first nine months of 1992 included a gain of $7.5 million, or 19 cents per share, fully diluted, from the cumulative effect of an accounting change related to income taxes.
 Aztar Corp. is a publicly held casino gaming company that operates TropWorld Casino and Entertainment Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., Tropicana Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, and Ramada Express Hotel and Casino in Laughlin, Nev.
 AZTAR CORP. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Consolidated Statements of Operations
 (Unaudited)
 (In thousands, except per share data)
 Quarter Ended Nine Months Ended
 Oct. 1, Oct. 3, Oct. 1, Oct. 3,
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Revenues
 Casino $119,774 $106,769 $329,770 $297,344
 Rooms 8,505 9,533 24,498 27,818
 Food and beverage 9,861 10,693 28,680 32,162
 Other 3,085 2,800 7,592 7,319
 Total 141,225 129,795 390,540 364,643
 Costs and Expenses
 Casino 54,854 48,754 153,201 141,679
 Rooms 5,254 5,907 14,920 16,489
 Food and beverage 9,114 9,824 26,780 29,736
 Other 2,006 2,025 5,200 5,502
 Marketing 12,028 10,563 34,569 30,995
 General and
 administrative 11,709 11,293 34,240 33,731
 Utilities 3,404 3,520 8,861 8,582
 Repairs and maintenance 5,042 4,526 14,016 13,277
 Provision for doubtful
 accounts 680 1,207 2,513 3,866
 Property taxes and
 insurance 4,046 3,991 12,033 11,524
 Net rent 10,985 11,748 34,240 35,646
 Depreciation and
 amortization 6,956 7,139 21,425 21,161
 Total 126,078 120,497 361,998 352,188
 Operating income 15,147 9,298 28,542 12,455
 Interest income 6,065 6,404 18,632 19,895
 Interest expense (6,303) (7,785) (19,436) (24,335)
 Income before other items, income
 taxes and cumulative effect of
 accounting change 14,909 7,917 27,738 8,015
 Equity in unconsolidated
 partnership's loss (1,021) (1,219) (3,091) (3,865)
 Income before income
 taxes and cumulative
 effect of accounting
 change 13,888 6,698 24,647 4,150
 Provision for income
 taxes (5,382) -- (9,169) --
 Income before cumulative
 effect of accounting
 change 8,506 6,698 15,478 4,150
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting change -- -- 7,500 --
 Net income $8,506 $6,698 $22,978 $4,150
 Earnings per common and
 common equivalent share:
 Income before cumulative
 effect of accounting
 change $.22 $.17 $.39 $.09
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting change -- -- .20 --
 Net income $.22 $.17 $.59 $.09
 Earnings per common share
 assuming full dilution:
 Income before cumulative
 effect of accounting
 change $.22 $.16 $.38 $.09
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting change -- -- .19 --
 Net income $.22 $.16 $.57 $.09
 Weighted average common shares
 applicable to:
 Earnings per common and
 common equivalent
 share 37,668 38,923 38,312 38,767
 Earnings per common
 share assuming full
 dilution 38,858 39,985 39,408 39,948
 AZTAR CORP. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Consolidated Balance Sheet Summaries
 (Unaudited)
 (In thousands)
 Oct. 1, Jan. 2,
 1992 1992
 Assets:
 Current assets $127,406 $120,838
 Property and equipment 388,573 394,852
 Investments and long-term
 receivables 108,954 105,688
 Other assets 16,577 17,096
 Total $641,510 $638,474
 Liabilities and Shareholders'
 Equity:
 Current liabilities $66,096 $93,319
 Long-term debt 178,492 176,693
 Other long-term liabilities 57,300 47,503
 Series B ESOP convertible
 preferred stock 2,783 2,059
 Shareholders' equity 336,839 318,900
 Total $641,510 $638,474
 (a) Certain reclassifications have been made in the 1991 Consolidated Statements of Operations in order to be comparable to the current periods. These reclassifications have no effect on net income.
 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) There was no provision for income taxes in the 1991 periods as the company anticipated the effective tax rate to be zero for the full year.
 (c) 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 deferred income tax benefit of $7,500,000, and it is reflected in the Consolidated Statement of Operations as the cumulative effect of accounting change.
 -0- 10/22/92
 /CONTACT: Joe Cole, VP-corporate communications of Aztar, 602-381-4111/
 (AZTR) CO: Aztar Corp. ST: Arizona IN: CNO SU: ERN


LS-JB -- LA009 -- 3348 10/22/92 09:18 EDT
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Date:Oct 22, 1992
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