MTR Gaming Reports Strong First Quarter

MTR Gaming Group, the owner of Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort, reported double digit increases in revenue, earnings, and net income for the first quarter ending March 31. The company also announced today it had been approved for 500 additional slot machines at Mountaineer, which is in Chester, W. Va.

Revenue for the quarter rose 22% to $59.4 million and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) increased 19% to $11.6 million compared with the same period a year ago. Net income increased 18% to $5.1 million, while earnings per share held steady at 17 cents per share.

Net win-per-day-per-machine was $236 from an average of 2,218 machines compared to a year ago when an average of 1,905 machines generated a win-per-day of $240. The additional 500 machines will be installed in July and bring Mountaineer's total to 3,000.

The Mountaineer nighttime race signal has proved popular with export revenues rising 65% to $1.7 million. The average daily live handle including export was $1.1 million for the quarter.

Other pieces of Mountaineer's development are falling into place. A 359-room hotel will open tomorrow, a new steakhouse will open May 15, and soon after the company will introduce a number of new retail shops.

"These offerings, which we expect to seal Mountaineer's transformation into a destination resort, will enable the convention center to ramp up and allow the resort to operate more efficiently," said Edson R. "Ted" Arneault, president and chief executive officer of MTR Gaming. "All of the expanded offerings should contribute to growth in slot and pari-mutuel revenue during traditionally off-peak and peak times."

For the second quarter, MTR Gaming expects to report revenue between $69 million and $72 million, EBITDA between $12.5 million and $14 million, and net income between $5.5 million and $6 million, or 19-21 cents per diluted share based on 29 million shares.