MTR Gaming Reports Lower First-Quarter Profits

MTR Gaming Group Inc. said May 16 its first-quarter profit fell from last year, as interest expenses increased due to borrowings for new construction.

Net income for the quarter was $559,000, or 2 cents per share, down from $3.4 million, or 12 cents per share, for the first quarter of 2006. Revenue was $107.1 million, up from $93 million in the year-ago period.

Analysts expected first-quarter earnings of 5 cents per share on $105.6 million in revenue, according to a Thomson Financial survey.

Interest expenses for the quarter were $6.3 million, up from $3.5 million in the year-ago period, largely due to increased borrowings associated with construction at Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pa., which opened in February.

Shares of MTR Gaming fell 34 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $15.05 in May 15 trading.

MTR Gaming Group, through subsidiaries, owns and operates the Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort in Chester, W. Va; Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Erie, Penn.; Scioto Downs in Columbus, Ohio; the Ramada Inn and Speedway Casino in North Las Vegas, Nev. (which is under contract for sale); and Binion's Gambling Hall & Hotel in Las Vegas. The company also owns a 90% interest in the Jackson Harness Raceway in Jackson, Mich., and a 50% interest in the North Metro Harness Initiative, which is constructing a harness racetrack and card room 30 miles north of downtown Minneapolis.

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