Isle of Capri Casino, Inc. earnings up for 4th quarter, fiscal year; lower debt, higher profits boost stock

Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. – operators of Bettendorf's Isle of Capri Casino – reported improved earnings Tuesday (6/14) for the fourth quarter and fiscal year despite flat revenues for the 12-months ended April 26.

After company officials finished discussing the Isle's lower debt levels and improved profit margins in a conference call with analysts, the firm's stock price jumped nearly $1 per share (6 percent) to $17.32 in early trading.

The company reported fourth quarter net revenue of $265 million compared with $269 million for the same period last year. For the 12-months ended April 24, the Isle had net revenue of $979 million compared with $977 million for fiscal 2015.

Earnings per share for the fourth quarter were 60 cents compared with 8 cents for the fourth quarter of 2015. For fiscal 2016, the Isle earned $1.12 per share compared with 13 cents per share in fiscal 2015. The company had a $9-million non-cash impairment charge and a $13.8-million loss related to refinancing debt in 2015.

"During fiscal 2016, we continued to reinvigorate our properties through prudent capital investments across the portfolio," Isle CEO Eric Hausler stated in the company's earnings news release. "Perhaps most significantly, we are excited to open our new land-based gaming and entertainment facility in Bettendorf on June 24. We believe it will be an outstanding upgrade to the customer experience. . ."

"Later this summer, we expect to launch our online play-for-fun casino and to offer lifestyle products under the Lady Luck brand," Hausler stated. "We expect these new offerings to further enhance our player loyalty and broaden the demographic appeal of our Lady Luck brand."

Hausler told analysts the improvements at the Bettendorf Isle of Capri "put ourselves in the best possible position" and the new land-based casino would be "materially better" than the original riverboat, moored along the Mississippi River and connected by a skyway to the Isle hotels. The alternative – doing nothing while the new land-based Rhythm City Casino opened in Davenport – would have been "catastrophic," he said. The Bettendorf casino with its two hotels consisting of more than 500 rooms and connected to the city-owned convention center, is a good fundamental market for the company, Hausler told analysts.

To date, the company has spent $22 million on the new land-based casino, adjoining restaurants and hotel upgrades. The company said the construction work at the new Bettendorf facility was within the project's $60-million budget and part of the company's overall $70.3 million in capital spending during fiscal 2016.

CLICK HERE to download the Isle's fourth quarter and fiscal 2016 financial report.

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