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MGM Resorts Q4 loss narrows: revenues up in Vegas and Macau

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MGM Resorts International narrowed its loss in the fourth quarter, as revenue climbed and occupancy improved at its Las Vegas Strip properties. The casino operator, whose properties include the Bellagio, MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay, said Wednesday that it lost $113.7 million, or 23 cents per share, for the period ended Dec. 31. That compares with a loss of $139.2 million, or 29 cents per share, the year before.
Analysts expected a loss of 20 cents per share, according to FactSet.
Revenue rose 55 percent to $2.3 billion from $1.48 billion as the company made more from lodging, food and drinks, entertainment, gambling and people shopping. The 2011 quarter includes MGM China, which runs a Macau casino and went public in Hong Kong in June. Analysts predicted revenue of $2.21 billion.
Macau is the only place in China where gambling is legal. Casinos in the United States have been slow to recover from the economic downturn, and U.S. gaming companies such as MGM Resorts and its rival Wynn Resorts Ltd. have turned to fast-growing Macau casinos to help their businesses.
MGM Resorts said yesterday that its U.S. properties were also doing better. Occupancy at Las Vegas Strip resorts climbed to 87 percent from 84 percent, while the average daily rate improved to $129 from $118. Revenue per available room, known as revpar, increased to $111 from $98. This figure is a key gauge of a lodging company’s health. The CityCenter development in Las Vegas, of which MGM Resorts owns half, lost less money.
For the full year, MGM Resorts posted a profit of $3.11 billion, or $5.62 per share. That compares with a loss of $1.44 billion, or $3.19 per share, in the prior year. Revenue rose 30 percent to $7.85 billion from $6.06 billion.
MGM China also declared a dividend of about $400 million on Wednesday, which will be paid March 20. MGM Resorts, which owns 51 percent of MGM China, will receive about $204 million.
MGM Resorts said it had $13.6 billion of debt at year’s end. It had a cash balance of $1.9 billion, including about $720 million related to MGM China. The company is trying to improve its balance sheet and cut its debt, said Chief Financial Officer Dan D’Arrigo in a statement.
The Las Vegas company’s stock fell 30 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $13.89 in premarket trading. AP

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