Wednesday, February 17, 1999

Casinos lift net
at Boyd Gaming

However, revenue at its isle
travel agency dropped
6.7 percent

By Russ Lynch


Boyd Gaming Corp. had a big increase in fourth-quarter earnings, boosted by strong business at its Nevada casino-hotels, particularly the downtown Las Vegas properties popular among Hawaii residents.

Info Box The Las Vegas-based company reported a net profit of $9.3 million, or 15 cents a share, for the three months through Dec. 31, a turnaround from a loss of $1 million, or 2 cents a share, in the last quarter of 1997.

The results were skewed by a one-time expense in the 1997 quarter, but even without that item the operating results were up 50 percent. The 1997 results included a charge of $7.2 million, or 12 cents a share, from the early redemption of $185 million in notes that Boyd used to finance some activities.

Without counting that, there would have been an operating profit of $6.2 million, or 10 cents a share, in the 1997 quarter. Net revenues were $245 million in the latest quarter, up 2.9 percent from $238 million in the year-earlier quarter.

The downtown Las Vegas properties -- including the California, the Fremont and the Main Street Station hotel-casinos -- nearly doubled their income from the year-earlier period, the company said. However, Vacations Hawaii, a Las Vegas travel specialist in Honolulu acquired by Boyd in 1995, showed a 6.7 percent dip in revenues to $8.3 million, from $8.9 million in the 1997 quarter.

Boyd purchased Jackie's Travel, a competing tour packager in Honolulu in 1997, and merged it with Vacations Hawaii. Boyd was formed in Las Vegas but later branched out into casino and hotel operations.

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