Despite boost in sales, Boyd posts third-quarter loss

Boyd Gaming Corp. of Las Vegas today said Thursday that overall sales grew in the third quarter, but it swung to a loss on higher expenses along with revenue declines in certain markets.

The company posted a net loss of $15.8 million, or 18 cents per share, compared to a profit of $3.1 million, or 4 cents per share, in the same period last year

Net revenue of $613.3 million for the third quarter increased 3.9 percent thanks in part to last year's acquisition of the IP Casino Resort Spa in Biloxi, Miss.

Adjusted EBITDA, a profitability measure, came in at $103.6 million vs. $122 million in last year's third quarter. EBITDA means earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

Boyd's half-owned Borgata resort in Atlantic City produced net revenue of $187.1 million, down from $202 million on lower table game volumes and table players playing luckier.

''We remain encouraged by strength in other segments of the business, as slot and hotel revenue increased year-over-year," Boyd said of Borgata in its earnings statement Thursday.

In the Las Vegas locals market, which is marked by intense competition and a local economy still struggling with high unemployment, Boyd's third quarter net revenue was $138.8 million, down from $145.9 million in the year-ago period.

''To improve our performance in the locals market, we are implementing measures to grow business volumes from casual players, including a significant expansion of our low-denomination slot product," Boyd said in its statement.

The company's downtown Las Vegas hotels and casinos generated net revenue of $53.5 million, up slightly.

With Boyd working on closing its $1.45 billion acquisition of Peninsula Gaming this quarter, the company is hoping for continued strong results from its properties in the Midwest and South.

Peninsula has the Kansas Star Casino, Hotel and Event Center in Mulvane, Kan.; Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque, Iowa; Diamond Jo Casino in Worth County, Iowa; Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino in Opelousas, La.; and Amelia Belle Casino in Amelia, La.

The existing Boyd properties in the Midwest and South generated third quarter net revenue of $233 million, up 24 percent from the year-ago quarter with the IP in Biloxi contributing $49.1 million in net revenue.

"We are encouraged by continued strength in our Midwest and South region, which recorded its eighth consecutive quarter of EBITDA growth," CEO Keith Smith said in the earnings statement.