MTR Gaming Hits Two Financial Records in Third Quarter

MTR Gaming Group, the owner of Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort, hits some new financial records for the third quarter but still reported a decline in earnings per share.

Revenue for the West Virginia-based company rose 26% to a record $77.2 million and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) increased 10% to a record $14.7 million. Earnings per share, however, was 22 cents, which was 6% decrease from the same quarter of 2001.

For the first nine months of 2002, revenues rose 24% to a record $203.7 million and EBITDA increased 8% to a record $36.5 million. Again, earnings per share dropped to 52 cents per share, a 17.5% drop from the 62 cents per share reported during the first nine months of last year.

Investors reacted strongly to the revenue and EBITDA growth and snapped up shares of MTR Gaming (Nasdaq:MNTG). The stock rose 14.7% to $9.50, a rise of $1.22 per share on Wednesday. Trading was very heavy with more than 1.75 million share changing hands compared with the company's average daily volume of 368,363.

"We are pleased with the results for the third quarter, particularly since we are still 'growing into' the cost structure associated with our recent rapid expansion," Edson R. "Ted" Arneault, MTR Gaming's president and chief executive officer. "Because we now have the infrastructure in place to support a greater volume of business, our priority is to continue to aggressively market Mountaineer as a full-service destination resort."

Net win from slot operations at Mountaineer rose 24% to $64.6 million, while net win-per-day-per-machine was $237 with an average of 2,995 machines, compared to $263 based on an average of 2,149 machines in the third quarter of 2001.

Arneault said he expects fourth quarter revenue between $61 million and $65 million, EBITDA between $13.5 million and $15 million, and net income of $5.8 million and $6.3 million or 20 cents to 22 cents per diluted share, based on 29 million shares.